WI Security Forces Airman ready to deploy

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Ryan Roth
  • 115th FW Public Affairs
Twenty-six security forces Airmen from the Wisconsin Air National Guard's 115th Fighter Wing, based in Madison, Wis., participated in pre-deployment training on American soil on their way to protect U.S. and allied interests around the world.

The 115th Security Forces Squadron personnel received comprehensive training Aug. 13 as part of a three-week base security operations class at the 96th Ground Combat Training Squadron here and made final preparations for a six-month deployment to provide base defense at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia.

"We have worked to provide our SFS with the best training and I have no doubt they will do an outstanding job while deployed," said Maj. John Wheeler, the 115th Security Forces Squadron commander.

The training included up-to-date information on tactics being used against Airmen deployed overseas. The counter-improvised explosive device training focuses on teaching defenders to recognize indicators of the presence of IEDs in order to avoid them, while also training the appropriate reactions and response in the event they are struck by an IED.

"Our school employs a contractor who recently served as an explosive ordinance disposal expert in the Army," said Maj. James Habeck, 96th GCTS commander. "He trains students on the intricacies of all IEDs currently being used against our forces in the AOR (area of responsibility)."

"The amount of training we have received here and its relevancy to our mission is huge," said Staff Sgt. Justin Padley, 115th SFS fire team member." I have yet to have one class that I was not interested in."

Padley's intense interest in all the courses offered was not by accident.

"My cadres are hand-selected based on multiple factors to include vast deployment experience, and outstanding career records," Habeck said. "As a result, I'm able to leverage some of the best talent in the career field to deliver life-saving skills to defenders headed to multiple deployed locations facing various complex threats. The students who pass through our school deserve nothing less."

All 26 of the Airmen deploying raised their hands to deploy, Wheeler said.

"I volunteered to deploy for experience," Padley said. "We have great [non-commissioned officers]. Our leadership has made sure we had the classes and the days needed to gain experience to be ready for this deployment."

"I decided to deploy because this is my time to step up and go," said Staff Sgt. Anthony Craft, 115th SFS fire team member.

The 96th GCTS, also known as Brave Defender, is home to one of eight SF ground combat readiness training centers in the world and trains approximately 1,500 defenders a year.

"They have been preparing for this deployment for the past six months and I have no doubt they are ready to go," Wheeler said.