JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. — Earlier this year, the base was alerted of an incident involving a potential armed individual in base housing, prompting a robust response from Security Forces. As a proactive approach to bolster security measures and strengthen relations with administrative staff, students, and parents of children on base, the 316th Security Forces Group conducted an active shooter training session at the Imagine Andrews Public Charter School, Nov. 7.
The training familiarized security personnel with the school’s layout to decrease response time and to increase coordination between school faculty and law enforcement during an emergency. U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Tyler J. Hughes, 316th Security Forces Squadron commander, explained the training’s significance and emphasized the need for new Defenders to be acquainted with the school’s facilities before an emergency occurs.
“We want to make sure that the first time they’re coming to this facility isn’t during an actual emergency response,” said Hughes. The training involved walk-throughs of the school, providing a firsthand look for Airmen who had not previously visited the site. The subsequent phase introduced scenario-based training to simulate real-world situations, allowing Defenders to hone their skills in a controlled environment.
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kevin Remmenga, 316th Security Forces noncommissioned section trainer, highlighted the importance of cross-shift collaboration to ensure day and night shifts are well-practiced and ready to respond to a shooting or other threats at the school.
“As a law enforcement capacity, you never know who’s going to be a threat, and you just need to practice because it’s a perishable skill,” stated Remmenga. Addressing concerns of parents and guardians, he urged them to trust in the extensive training undertaken by Security Forces Airmen, assuring that they are prepared to respond to any situation.
U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Amanda L. Cubbage, noncommissioned officer in charge of training, shed light on the broader context of the training, citing the increasing frequency of mass shootings nationwide. Recognizing the unique challenges posed by institutions of learning, particularly those on military installations, Cubbage emphasized the importance of muscle memory and efficient responses, given the typically brief duration of such incidents.
“Although I am not a parent myself, I can still say with certainty that institutions of learning are one of our top priorities due to the number of lives in the facility, along with the fact that children are involved,” explained Cubbage.
U.S. Air Force Airman Charles Nee, a new Defender, also highlighted how the training at the school reflects the 316th Security Forces Group’s dedication to ensuring the safety and security of the Joint Base Andrews community and providing both Airmen and local residents with the confidence that they are well-equipped to respond effectively to any potential threat.
While acknowledging the innate fear of parents regarding the safety of their children, Security Forces assured the community of their unwavering commitment to training and preparation. Charles went on to emphasize, “We train day in and day out and we know, to our standards, that we are going to accomplish the mission.”
|Date Posted:||11.17.2023 13:15|
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