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Lajes Airmen prepare to deploy

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Shannon Ofiara
  • Detachment 6, Air Force News Agency
Today's Airmen are taking on more nontraditional roles that put them directly into the fight. This makes combat skills training essential for every Airman headed downrange.

Predeployment training can make the difference between life and death in operations around the world. Airmen selected to go downrange are using combat skills training to prepare for many unforeseen challenges they might experience in combat zones.

"We're trying to get Airmen ready for what they may see down there -- some of the things they'll need to know so they can survive," said Staff Sgt. Brandon Mills, a combat skills instructor with the 65th Security Forces Squadron here.

Just like a student studies for a test, Lajes Airmen study for the test of deployment. Predeployment training doesn't just take place in the classroom; it also takes students through interactive simulations. Students use a firearm training simulator, or FATS, to practice when to shoot and when to work through a situation in an alternative way.

Students also head outdoors to learn how to use defensive fighting positions. Airmen learn to challenge intruders and protect their area of responsibility.

"You can never underestimate the importance of your training," Sergeant Mills said. "Regardless of what service you are in, regardless of what job you do; you never know where the military is going to take you. It's better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it."

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