Holloman defenders train with FBI

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Sondra Escutia
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs
Members of the 49th Security Forces Squadron fine-tuned numerous law enforcement techniques during two days of training with members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Albuquerque division, here Aug. 5 and 6.

The FBI Special Weapons and Tactics agents worked with Holloman AFB defenders while they practiced close-quarters battle, breaching techniques and ballistic shield work.

"The overall goal of our training is to build on our partnership with the U.S. military, the FBI and local law enforcement as well," said Special Agent Rich Price, the training coordinator with the FBI, Albuquerque division. "The techniques that we use may be different than the military's, so as far as the partnership goes, this is information that may be able to help the Air Force and the military teams that are out doing this."

Airmen with the 49th SFS Quick Reaction Force and off-duty patrolmen battled the heat in full protective gear while they practiced law enforcement clears in a large commercial building on the base.

"In technical school, we go through a lot of the basics ... that we need to police the base," said 1st Lt. Patrick Clark, the 49th SFS operations officer. "What we're doing out here today is really adding some depth and breadth to that, putting everything together -- moving to the building under cover, moving away from the building, making an entry and a lot of the finer points."

Lieutenant Clark explained that the procedures and skills performed in the training would be utilized in a hostage situation with a barricaded suspect, one of a few crisis situations that defenders often train for.

"There are a couple of things law enforcement has been really focused on lately; active shooters, like the kind of incident that occurred at Ft. Hood, (Texas) as well as barricaded suspects or hostage situations," he said. "A couple months ago, we had the Roswell (Police Department) out here to train for active-shooter situations. They are different fundamentally, so while on the outside it all looks kind of the same; our guys are out here training on the finer points of a completely different scenario."

Another participant in the joint training, Senior Airman Michael Riffle, 49th SFS, said while it was his first time training with the FBI, he enjoyed the opportunity to get out, practice the skills he learned in technical school and add more to his collection.

"I think it's great training," Airman Riffle said. "It's another tool we can put in our belt and it gives us a different advantage that our enemy is not used to."

This training marked the second time Holloman AFB Airmen have worked with the FBI.

In April, SWAT teams from El Paso, Texas, Las Cruces and Albuquerque, N.M., held a joint Crisis Negotiation Team exercise with 49th SFS Airmen in the base dormitories.

During the exercise, Airmen had the opportunity to exercise negotiation skills in a simulated hostage situation.

Agent Price and Lieutenant Clark said they hope to continue joint training between military defenders and the FBI in the future, as well as with local law enforcement agencies.

"We have a lot of experience as far as our instructor team, and both sides will benefit from it," Agent Price said. "It's all about making everybody better."