HomeMediaArticle Display

Security forces four-wheel their way through training

Airmen First Class Justin Padley (left) awaits his turn to navigate a hill with his All Terrain Vehicle during a training course of instruction at Volk Field Combat Readiness Training Center Nov. 1, 2009.  115th SF Airmen attended this training course to learn how to operate an A.T.V in various environments, a requirement for their job. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christen Bloomfield)

Airmen First Class Justin Padley (left) awaits his turn to navigate a hill with his All Terrain Vehicle during a training course of instruction at Volk Field Combat Readiness Training Center Nov. 1, 2009. 115th SF Airmen attended this training course to learn how to operate an A.T.V in various environments, a requirement for their job. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christen Bloomfield)

Tech. Sgt. Max Fortin, 115th Fighter Wing Security Forces member and certified All Terrain Vehicle Instructor, explains how to operate an A.T.V to fellow 115th SF Airmen at Volk Field Combat Readiness Training Center Nov. 1, 2009.  115th Fighter Wing Security Forces members are required to know how to operate an A.T.V in various environments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Suzanne Vanderweyst)

Tech. Sgt. Max Fortin, 115th Fighter Wing Security Forces member and certified All Terrain Vehicle Instructor, explains how to operate an A.T.V to fellow 115th SF Airmen at Volk Field Combat Readiness Training Center Nov. 1, 2009. 115th Fighter Wing Security Forces members are required to know how to operate an A.T.V in various environments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Suzanne Vanderweyst)

A Member of the115th Fighter Wing Security Forces jumps his All Terrain Vehicle over an obstacle during an A.T.V training course held at Volk Field Combat Readiness Training Center Nov. 1, 2009.  115th SF Airmen attended this training course to learn how to operate an A.T.V in various environments, a requirement for their job. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Suzanne Vanderweyst)

A Member of the115th Fighter Wing Security Forces jumps his All Terrain Vehicle over an obstacle during an A.T.V training course held at Volk Field Combat Readiness Training Center Nov. 1, 2009. 115th SF Airmen attended this training course to learn how to operate an A.T.V in various environments, a requirement for their job. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Suzanne Vanderweyst)

Senior Airmen Jose Arellano (right), 115th Fighter Wing Security Forces member listens to instruction during an All Terrain Vehicle training course of instruction at Volk Field Combat Readiness Training Center Nov. 1, 2009.  115th SF Airmen attended this training course to learn how to operate an A.T.V in various environments, a requirement for their job. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Dan Richardson)

Senior Airmen Jose Arellano (right), 115th Fighter Wing Security Forces member listens to instruction during an All Terrain Vehicle training course of instruction at Volk Field Combat Readiness Training Center Nov. 1, 2009. 115th SF Airmen attended this training course to learn how to operate an A.T.V in various environments, a requirement for their job. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Dan Richardson)

Volk Field, Wis. -- Training on a Guard drill weekend incorporates many different things for the Airmen of the 115th Fighter Wing. For the members of the 115th Security Forces Squadron, that training includes an opportunity to "rip it up" in the dirt for a couple hours on the back of an all-terrain-vehicle at Volk Field Combat Readiness Training Center's A.T.V. training area.

Force protection is a major component of the mission of a security forces' Airman and A.T.V.'s are used as a tool to further their efforts according to Tech. Sgt. Max Fortin of the 115th SFS. Sergeant Fortin is one of the trainers certified by the A.T.V. Safety Institute to instruct both civilian and military people on how to operate a 450+ pound four wheeled machine.

Security forces members are required to know how to operate an A.T.V. in various environments. While 115th SFS Airmen do receive some minimal training at Truax Air National Guard Base in Madison, Wis., the terrain is not varied enough to give the rider a complete feel of what the machines are capable of.

"Training at Volk is just a better environment because of the terrain and the amount of space available for training," said Sergeant Fortin. "We can teach more uses of the A.T.V. and better ways to ride here."

The training course is designed to teach the most inexperienced rider the basics of operating an A.T.V. The course taught at Volk typically includes some of the newest security forces Airmen whose experience ranges from never having ridden an A.T.V. to experienced racers.

Fortin said the training is very important to everyone, even those who have ridden all their life because the security forces job may require the rider to operate the machine in a way that the rider has never experienced before. The only way to train to for those situations is to ensure they are comfortable with the A.T.V. he said.

"I teach them to be humble however, because an A.T.V. is capable of much more than I am able to train them to do," said Sergeant Fortin. "They must learn to operate them safely and respect the machines."

For first timers, the course can seem pretty daunting. Within the first 20 minutes of the class, the riders are taught all the basics of the A.T.V. and are spinning their wheels in the dirt. For fresh out of technical school Airman First Class Taho Mou, a 115th SFS member, this training was his first opportunity to ride an A.T.V.

"I am 5 foot 1 inch tall and weigh 140 pounds and this A.T.V. has a lot of power, "said Airman Mau. "I do ride motorcycles, but this is a little different."

Another new member to the 115th SFS family is Airman First Class Anthony Craft; however, he is not new to the world of A.T.V's. Airman craft has been on these types of machines since he was a little kid and races them as a civilian.

"Even though I have ridden A.T.V.'s most my life, this training is good because it applies directly to my job," said Airman Craft. "The military A.T.V.'s are utility machines that have much more power and are heavier than the sport A.T.V.'s I typically ride, so this class is very important for me."

Because the A.T.V.'s are such an essential part of the security forces career field, this training goes beyond just the basics of operation of the A.T.V. As part of their technical training for their career field, all the security forces Airmen learn various scenarios where having an A.T.V. will give them an advantage over an adversary.

"The A.T.V.'s are useful because we can bring more equipment to an operation than we could on foot," said Sergeant Fortin. "We can also go places with these that we can't go with trucks."

Whether it is the first-time rider or the experienced one, the expectation of the course is to make sure the riders are confident that they can use the machine to enhance their force protections mission. That said, it is hard to not have a little fun while doing it.

"It was awesome," said Airman First Class Angela Peterson, a first-time rider and 115th SFS member. "I really liked being able to go fast!"
USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.

Department of the Air Force does not exercise any responsibility or oversight of the content at external link destination.

The appearance of external hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the United States Department of Defense of linked web sites or the information, products, or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and morale, welfare and recreation sites, the United States Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. All links are provided consistent with the mission of this web site.