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NEWS | Aug. 25, 2023

Opposition forces training enhances Wolf Pack communications

By Senior Airman Karla Parra, 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

8th Security Forces Squadron and 8th Communications Squadron Airmen participated in an opposition force training scenario during Beverly Pack 23-2, Aug. 22.

The scenario tested Airmen’s active shooter response procedures and their ability to retain and protect communications support during contingency operations.

“The moment I saw my first sergeant and chief rush out of the unit control center, I knew something was wrong,” said Master Sgt. Alan Rowzee, 8th CS cyber operations and network infrastructure section chief. “As soon as they rushed to their phones, I heard gunshots nearby and I proceeded instinctively — it was like muscle memory.”

Wing inspection team leads from the 8th SFS and 8th CS designed the OPFOR training scenario to gauge response capabilities from their respective squadrons.

“One purpose of this event was not only to test our Airmen’s resiliency and response procedures under unfamiliar circumstances, but to served as a reminder that threats aren’t only in the cyber domain when it comes to maintaining comms during contingency operations,” said Staff Sgt. Sergio Bustillos, 8th CS WIT lead.

While the 8th CS evaluators centered their observations on response procedures, 8th SFS personnel were tested on their active shooter response and close-quarter combat skills.

Additionally, defenders were evaluated on their use of Tactical Combat Casualty Care, cover and team movements from room to room.

Tech. Sgt. Devin Slaton, 8th SFS flight sergeant, expressed that every scenario presents a different challenge.

“In these scenarios, you don't have time to study the layout of the building; you must breach the facility and locate the threat quickly to prevent loss of life,” stated Slaton. “So navigating the maze of hallways and rooms with unknown threats tests our abilities.”

8th SFS members responding to the OPFOR alert were put into a scenario with no radio communications and had to practice other techniques to relay information to one another.

8th CS Airmen relied on their instincts and prior training to safeguard their wingmen and areas of responsibility.

“Once the OPFOR augmentees passed this room and I could hear gunshots further away, I reached for the phone and called the emergency operations center and submitted a SALUTE (Size, Activity, Location, Unit identification, Time and Equipment) report,” said Rowzee. “I immediately went to my first sergeant because he was the first person I saw wounded and performed TCCC procedures.”

Routine training like Beverly Pack 23-2 allows Wolf Pack Airmen to gain insight through hands-on experience and strengthen their warfighting and contingency response muscle memory.

“We practice how we play,” said Bustillos. “Moving forward, we only plan to get more intricate in future training scenarios; to sharpen our Airmen’s readiness whether called upon in the air, space or cyberspace domain.”




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