Old defenders, new tricks

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Colby L. Hardin
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Most people can defend themselves against a smaller opponent, but not many would have the same luck against someone twice their size.

The Air Force recently revamped the combatives training from what it once was to more of a real life scenario training with multiple circumstances.

"It all starts with a breakdown of basic moves," said Staff Sgt. Daniel Dayton, 22nd Security Forces Squadron combatives program manager. "Each month, the class gets more and more advanced."

The training spans 20 hours, and the 22nd SFS students are taught different defensive techniques and ways to create space between themselves and an attacker.

The program was initiated by the Air Force Security Center with an implementation date of October 2015.

"The program is still in its immature stage right now," said Dayton. "Everyone is still working out the kinks to get it to run smoothly."

Some of the techniques used in the class were taught in the Air Force security forces technical school, while others were new and more advanced.

"We want our students to take what they learned here today and grow with it," said Master Sgt. Jonathan McCarty, 22nd SFS training superintendent. "It takes practice, until it becomes muscle memory."

The class lasted several hours and left students out of breath and drenched in sweat.

"We wore our normal duty uniform," said Airman 1st Class Cassandra Mattison, 22nd SFS armorer. "As the classes advance, the instructors will give us more and more gear to get as close to a real situation as possible."

Although the intensity was high in the class, the instructors made sure that each student left knowing the proper way to do each and every move.

"It was very step-by-step," added Mattison. "Which is good because it made it easy to understand."

The training instructors know that even the most basic moves are essential.

"I hope everyone in the class takes this seriously," said Dayton. "These very moves could be the ones to save their lives one day."