Professional Bad Guys

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht
  • 177th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Airmen from the New Jersey Air National Guard's 177th Fighter Wing were once again asked to evaluate and participate in the annual Atlantic County crisis response exercise, which was held at Atlantic Cape Community College on July 12.

A statement released by the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office said, "This year we sought out a "Team" with "Overseas Experience". We received tremendous support via the combat forces and technical support supplied by the 177th Fighter Wing. Training can never replace real life experiences, but their experiences can be passed on to others in the form of a training exercise. The personnel from the 177th Fighter Wing who were assigned to this exercise were well prepared, providing the Atlantic County Hostage Team as well as the Atlantic County Emergency Response Team (ACERT) with a very challenging exercise and training opportunity."

Two airmen from the 177th Fighter Wing, Staff Sgt. Kevin Allman and Staff Sgt. David Pabon, both veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom, were brought in to act as hostage takers.

Allman, a member of the 177th Security Forces Squadron, and also a member of the Ocean County Sheriff's Office, likened the role to being a "professional bad guy."

"This exercise is all about professionals helping professionals," said Allman. "I'm happy to help out today as an Air National Guardsman, using my military and civilian experience to help the local law enforcement community."

Master Sgt. Joe Iacovone, also from the 177th Security Forces Squadron, helped with the coordination of the exercise as well as the evaluation.

"These exercises not only develop the training for local officers, but they also help to strengthen the bonds between the Air National Guard and our civilian counterparts in the community," said Iacovone, who is also an Atlantic City Police Officer. "Our experiences as civilian police officers, as well as combat experiences overseas and what we faced can benefit the county SWAT teams and how they react to different situations. Even as we're evaluating this year's exercise, we're already planning and looking forward to next year's event."