SFS Airmen complete Taser training
OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Two small, dart-like electrodes strike a person's body with 50,000 volts of electricity causing them to experience stimulation of their sensory and motor nerves resulting in strong, involuntary muscle contractions.
A group of six defenders experienced just that during a Taser training course June 27.
"Taser training is important because it teaches the user what needs to be considered in the event of its employment," said Staff Sgt. Andres Alvariza, 51st Security Forces Squadron training instructor. "We need to be sure the personnel arming up with the Taser are knowledgeable on the weapon, and understand the legal repercussions if the weapon is used in an improper way."
In order to carry the Taser X-26, defenders must go through a four-hour course that includes Taser International training, a written test and being able to effectively engage a target with a minimum of two Taser cartridges.
"Carrying the Taser helps provide our personnel an additional non-lethal option to use to gain compliance of a subject," Alvariza said.
Members must make sure the Taser's electrodes, which stay connected to the main unit by conductive wire as they are propelled by small compressed nitrogen charges - hit the target area.
"Airmen need to hit between a person's waste line and chest when firing the weapon," said Staff Sgt. Malcom Stephen, 51st SFS training instructor. "Having an 8 to 10 meter spread helps to fully incapacitate the person."
Once the defenders completed the training, they were given the option to be stunned by the Taser.
"Being struck by the Taser was like having a full body cramp," said Airman 1st Class Tyler Patterson, 51st SFS entry controller. "It cramped the muscles in my calf and lower back. I continued to feel a jittery effect from the weapon for an additional 10 minutes."
The training provided the Airmen with a more effective way of performing their duties.
"It allows us to maintain a better standoff distance and effectively apprehend or detain a person we need to control," Patterson said. "After going through the course and knowing how it feels, I know how to better implement the Taser. I know how long that person is going through the pain to apprehend a perpetrator."