MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. --
What does it mean to be a defender? It means having the courage to put others safety before their own, being uncertain of the outcome but choosing to stand up and fight regardless. That is why Security Forces Airmen are known as “Defenders.”
It is the 22nd Security Forces Squadron’s responsibility to respond when a dire situation arises. To ensure the best results unfold, they invested in perfecting their skills by bringing a new training system to the unit.
The Milo Range Training System has three interactive screens designed to improve situational awareness, tactics and weapon familiarization through various scenarios.
“It trains our Defenders to look at the whole picture rather than just concentrating on one thing, falling into tunnel vision,” said Officer Robert Lang, 22nd SFS training manager.
Split-second decisions could mean life or death, which is why it is important to correctly assess high-stress encounters.
“This system will improve reaction times, teach [Defenders] how to react and recognize issues,” said Tech. Sgt. Kourtney Ruff, NCO-in-charge of training.
During the training, flight trainers will evaluate the users on their decisions to instill good habits and teach the reasoning behind the tactics.
“Having a situation unfold on the screen and being able to react with verbal commands [is very beneficial in developing skills],” said Ruff.
The system is all about adapting the Defender to a situation, and can reciprocate by adapting to the needs of the Airmen.
“We can pretty much go anywhere,” said Ruff. “There are scenes including the Base Exchange, parking lots, parks, bedrooms and hotels, so it has a wide range. We can also create our own scenes.”
To make the experience as realistic as possible the user performs push-ups, sit-ups, runs in place and other exercises to get their heart rate up prior to the simulation.
“It is supposed to incorporate fear by increasing adrenaline because that is what we feel like when we get into these situations.” said Lang. “We are cops, but we also get scared because we don’t know what is going to come out of these situations.”
There are other advantages to the indoor range. The firearm has a laser device inside of the chamber that displays exactly where the gun was pointed when the trigger is pulled, eliminating some dependence on ammunition and risking hearing loss.
“The usefulness of this system is nearly endless,” said Staff Sgt. Tyler Cossentine, 22nd SFS NCO-in-charge of confinement. “It’s most valuable aspect is that it may provide the skills to the right Defender and the right time.”