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Security Forces engage enemy

Senior Airman Leigh Downing, fire team member with the 115th Fighter Wing Security Forces establishes a defensive position from which to provide cover fire during a training exercise at Volk Field Combat Readiness Training Center, Wis. Nov. 7, 2009. The Madison, Wis. based 115th Security Forces Squadron engaged in a variety of combat training scenarios as part of their November Unit Training Assembly. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Paul Gorman)

Senior Airman Leigh Downing, fire team member with the 115th Fighter Wing Security Forces establishes a defensive position from which to provide cover fire during a training exercise at Volk Field Combat Readiness Training Center, Wis. Nov. 7, 2009. The Madison, Wis. based 115th Security Forces Squadron engaged in a variety of combat training scenarios as part of their November Unit Training Assembly. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Paul Gorman)

Master Sgt. Todd Weinberger, NCOIC of training for the 115th Fighter Wing Security Forces gives a brief prior to a combat patrol and convoy exercise at Volk Field, Air National Guard Base, Camp Douglas, Wis. Nov. 7, 2009. The Madison, Wis. based 115th Security Forces Squadron engaged in a variety of combat training exercises as part of their November Unit Training Assembly. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech Sgt. Don Nelson)

Master Sgt. Todd Weinberger, NCOIC of training for the 115th Fighter Wing Security Forces gives a brief prior to a combat patrol and convoy exercise at Volk Field, Air National Guard Base, Camp Douglas, Wis. Nov. 7, 2009. The Madison, Wis. based 115th Security Forces Squadron engaged in a variety of combat training exercises as part of their November Unit Training Assembly. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech Sgt. Don Nelson)

Airman 1st Class Angela Peterson, fire team member with the 115th Fighter Wing Security Forces performs a functional check of her radio equipment prior to beginning a combat training exercise at Volk Field, Air National Guard Base, Camp Douglas, Wis. Nov. 7, 2009.The Madison, Wis. based 115th Security Forces Squadron engaged in a variety of combat training exercises as part of their November Unit Training Assembly. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Paul Gorman)

Airman 1st Class Angela Peterson, fire team member with the 115th Fighter Wing Security Forces performs a functional check of her radio equipment prior to beginning a combat training exercise at Volk Field, Air National Guard Base, Camp Douglas, Wis. Nov. 7, 2009.The Madison, Wis. based 115th Security Forces Squadron engaged in a variety of combat training exercises as part of their November Unit Training Assembly. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Paul Gorman)

Senior Airman Leigh Downing (right), fire team member with the 115th Fighter Wing Security Forces pauses to relay coordinates to her squad leader Staff Sgt Adam Dax, during a combat training exercise at Volk Field, Air National Guard Base, Camp Douglas, Wis. Nov. 7, 2009The Madison, Wis. based 115th Security Forces Squadron engaged in a variety of combat training exercises as part of their November Unit Training Assembly. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Paul Gorman)

Senior Airman Leigh Downing (right), fire team member with the 115th Fighter Wing Security Forces pauses to relay coordinates to her squad leader Staff Sgt Adam Dax, during a combat training exercise at Volk Field, Air National Guard Base, Camp Douglas, Wis. Nov. 7, 2009The Madison, Wis. based 115th Security Forces Squadron engaged in a variety of combat training exercises as part of their November Unit Training Assembly. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Paul Gorman)

Volk Field CRTC, Wis. -- Nearly 100 highly trained enemy troops from the People's Liberation Forces attempted to infiltrate Volk Field Combat Readiness Training Center to disrupt base military operations. Security Forces were the last line of defense.

"You have no support.  Besides standard protocol, the rules of engagement are like Xbox. Kill them all," said Master Sgt. Todd Weinberger, the non commissioned officer in charge of training from the 115th Fighter Wing in Madison, Wis., as he stood before the men and women of 115th Security Forces and briefed them on a threat that needed their immediate attention.

Thirty members of the 115th FW SFS teamed up with members of the 128th CRTS SF at Volk Field to partake in a training exercise Nov. 8 designed to integrate newer members of SF and improve combat training skills.

"This was a great opportunity to see what we received from technical school," said Lt. Col. Brian Buhler, commander of 115th FW SFS. "We need to make sure our Security Forces members stay sharp in their combat training skills."

To accomplish the day's mission, SF must prevent the enemy from gaining a foothold in the area. Security Forces organized into fire teams and patrolled the woods around the base in search of the enemy, making sure to practice the skills that one day could save their lives.

"This drill weekend was about SF working to integrate young Airmen into the fold," said Staff Sgt. Adam Dax, a fire team member from the 115th SFS. "Technical school teaches needed techniques but working together in a squad with the unit brings valuable experience."

A 360 degree perimeter of security must be maintained at all times when SF are in a fixed position or when they are moving.

"You never know where an enemy is coming from," said Airman First Class Anthony Craft, a fire team member from the 115th SFS who returned from Tech school recently. "Even if you think they are coming from a certain direction, they could have already flanked you."

As one fire team maneuvered the landscape in search of the enemy, their squad leader Sergeant Dax made corrections to experienced and newer Airmen alike.

"Everyone needs to be on the same page or else we cannot execute," said Sergeant Dax. "The more SF we are around and the more often we train and follow orders, the better we become at our job."

As SF worked together on team movements and practiced battle drills they become more comfortable working with each other and more proficient with executing their duties.

"Eventually the squad leader has to speak or direct the troops less because
his fire team members know what is expected," said Master Sgt. Weinberger.

The terrain at Volk Field is a combination of many different training environments including thick forest, open fields, ponds, marshy areas and hills. Leaves lay everywhere, fallen from the empty trees above. As the squad moves forward, their movements are broadcast with each crunch beneath their combat boots.

"Consideration of breaking twigs, the sound of crunching leaves and talking are some the things troops should be aware of as they move through that type of environment," said Sergeant Weinberger.

Each fire team is typically comprised of about 13 Airmen and armed with M4 rifles and a M249 Squad Assault Weapon.

"Everyone has their part on this team and the only way we will succeed is if we all do our part," said Airman First Class Craft.

New Airmen benefit from length of service by senior non-commissioned officers with a variety of backgrounds

The unit has plenty of knowledge including service members who have experiences in the Army, Marine Corps and civilian law enforcement work, said Sergeant Dax.

The suns sets before the day's operations cease. Still training, the SF partake in a convoy movement that encounters an enemy ambush at a fork in the road. The dry taste of dust and diesel fills the back of a truck as SF sit in back; eyes pealed looking for the enemy.

Suddenly small arms fire from the PLF erupts 60 yards off the road. As Airmen jump out of the cargo trucks to take up fighting positions, squad leaders yell cover and flanking commands, while the Airmen listen and develop their combat skills.
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