JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas –
The Alamo Area Council of Governments, a voluntary association of cities, counties and special districts within South Central Texas, has a longstanding relationship with the San Antonio military community and recently hosted a training event for Joint Base San Antonio security forces members.
The AACOG’s outreach to the area’s military communities includes facilitating communication and collaboration between JBSA installations and municipal, county and community stakeholders, as well as promoting compatible civilian development and activities in support of local military missions.
The security forces training event, conducted Oct. 22 at the Alamo Area Regional Law Enforcement Academy in San Antonio, consisted of multiple real-life scenarios created by police academy staff members to give JBSA’s security forces the most up-to-date training possible.
Security forces members were placed in four-person tactical teams and utilized their previous training experiences in the new training environment. Throughout the day, the teams cycled through multiple exercises.
“It’s very exciting to be able to host JBSA; we’re practicing some defensive training using our live shooter simulator, apartment setting simulator and combat area,” said Diane Rath, AACOG executive director. “We started our relationship with the JBSA Security Forces Squadron many years ago and it continues to expand.”
During parts of the training, Security Forces members wore shock belts and vests set to register a shock if they sustained simulated wounds, such as being “shot” or “stabbed.”
During the combat portion of the exercises, Security Forces personnel had to respond to multiple scenarios, including two individuals fighting and resisting arrest, a hostage situation, suicide bombings, and an aggressor with an electric knife.
Participants tasked with the apartment-setting simulation received calls and were dispatched to a scene where volunteers acted out real-life scenarios and responders had to de-escalate and maintain the situations.
During the training, there were also scenarios involving a mental illness case, as well as a domestic abuse and violence incident. In the scenario, participants entered an apartment and assessed the situation while also checking the perimeter of the room and removing any weapons.
“During the domestic scenarios, my partner and I were ‘shocked.’ You really don’t know what you’re going into, and you have to assess the situation,” said Senior Airman Ashley Villanueva of the 502nd Security Forces Squadron.
The SFS members in the live-shooting simulation stood in the center of a 360-degree projector area where the instructor would play a video scenario. Members were equipped with an ultraviolet pistol and holster, and when they needed to use deadly force to react to the situation, the simulation would react accordingly.
In another portion of the training, members listened to emergency dispatcher telephone calls simulating an angry girlfriend shooting at her ex-boyfriend’s residence, a suspicious call reporting a disturbance at an airport, and a person reporting a possible stolen vehicle.
“This training is invaluable to our security forces,'' said Col. James Masoner, 502nd Security Forces Group commander. “They have tools that we don’t have, and the experience we simply cannot match for the training we need to get for our troops.”
In the future, AACOG plans to continue working with JBSA Security Forces personnel on a larger scale to give them additional training and help them prepare for some of the many situations they may one day encounter.