Newest defenders, ROKAF team up in combat readiness course
OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Ever since the 1950s, the U.S. and ROK alliance has been prevalent in sustaining the country's freedom. The 51st Security Forces Squadron defenders and the Republic of Korea air force will be among the first to protect and defend the base in the event of an attack here.
The multitude of tasks, requirements and manpower needed to ensure that Osan and its assets are protected are initiated through immense training ensuring the newest team members are ready to "fight, tonight."
Once their boots hit the ground on base, the newly assigned defenders are sent through a five-day combat readiness course. The course covers different spectrums the defenders need to support the mission such as non-lethal fighting, combatives, land navigation and active-shooter training.
"The CRC is designed to teach or re-teach our defenders to perform communicative, combative, tactical, and emergency procedures through simulated environments ensuring they're prepared for real-world contingencies," said Staff Sgt. Aaron Robison, 51st SFS training instructor. "All of the new [SFS] Airmen are required to take the course upon arrival to base to make certain everyone is prepared for the fast-paced mission.
"Our mission here is important," he continued. "You have to be ready at any given time and the rigorous training scenarios are vital to making sure our Airmen are set for anything and have the right mind-set for any event."
The tactics and ideas taught during the CRC are derived from the SFS technical training school, but each one is adapted and applied to an Osan-specific scenario.
"One of the different types of training the new Airmen undergo is baton training," said Airman 1st Class Kevin Kalgren, 51st SFS armory. "After they finish the initial classroom and field training portions, Airmen apply what they learn, through non-lethal combat with the "Redman" and expandable baton."
The Redman or red man suit is a full-body protective suit for instructors or volunteers to wear for protection during baton training.
"The Redman training creates a real environment and makes it better for training our [Airmen]," said Kalgren. "It's easier to train on a dummy, but when you have someone attacking you and your adrenaline is pumping, the Redman suit helps with vital preparation for events that may occur here.
"In the real world, the Redman training is very beneficial," he continued. "Most people have never been in a fight before or experienced being attacked, even simulated. It gives you that necessary hands-on experience to be able to take on someone who may be inebriated or overly aggressive."
Other training scenarios include convoy operations, responsibilities during wartime operations, ruck marching, physical training and active-shooter exercises with both SFS and ROKAF, including firing simulated ammunition from their weapons.
"We have the same mission here as the U.S. defenders -- protect the base," said 1st Lt. James Park, ROKAF 3rd Training Wing special duty team. "I am attending the training to learn better and more effective ways of communication and training along with teaching some skills the defenders may not use. I'm impressed with the training here."
The intent to improve the defenders and ROKAF airmen throughout the course gives the instructors a sense of pride.
"We stand by the defender motto, 'Always ready, defend the base,'" said Kalgren. "In the long-run, we're not only guarding the base, we're here to help protect the freedoms of 51 million people."