by Tech. Sgt. Ray Bowden
21st Space Wing public Affair
Due to a new security forces headquarters directive, 721st Security Forces Squadron Airmen stationed at Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station have recently received abrupt shocks to their system.
This directive governs training to use a Taser, an electroshock tool used by police forces to subdue belligerent or fleeing suspects by striking them with an electrical current which disrupts their muscle control.
“Every member of the 721st SFS, to include contractor guards, our chief, and commander, will be certified to carry the X26 Taser,” said Tech. Sgt. Jerrme Stanton, 721st SFS noncommissioned officer in charge of training. “We currently have 50 members out of our 109-person squadron trained.”
According to Sergeant Stanton, the Taser transmits an electrical pulse through wires and into a suspect’s body to affect sensory and motor functions of their peripheral nervous system. Part of the training includes volunteering to be on the receiving end of the Taser — most of the Airmen volunteered to go “under the gun,” he said. This energy can penetrate up to two inches of clothing.
“It is applied with one pull of the trigger which releases a five second, 50,000-volt electrical pulse rendering all muscle control virtually impossible,” he said. “It will make a grown man cry.”
While Chaplain (Capt.) Ronald Feeser, 21st SW Chapel, didn’t weep, he certainly had a reaction when he was tased after volunteering to assist Cheyenne Mountain’s security forces with Taser training.
“I felt it would be a good way to show support because it was something [security forces Airmen] are required to experience,” he said. “I hoped it might help their morale if they knew their chaplain was willing to take a hit.”
And, for a man whose living is based on routine spiritual exposition, being on the receiving end of a Taser left Chaplain Feeser speechless. Apparently, being whacked between the shoulder blades with 50,000 volts made the chaplain fold like a slice of cheese.
“There are no words to describe what it feels like,” he said. “It was probably the longest and worst five seconds of my life. Every muscle in your body tenses up and you have no choice but to go down because there is no control over your body. All I could think was ‘when will it end?’”
Sergeant Stanton has been on the receiving end of a Taser twice during the course of his Taser instructor certification.
“It’s hard to describe exactly what it feels like.” he said. “Once I was [tased], I wanted to immediately comply with what the instructor ordered me to do.”
Sergeant Stanton said the Taser is a welcome addition to the security forces arsenal.
“It’s safer than some alternatives we may have to use in the worst case event,” he said. “It’s a great compliance tool. Other police compliance tools are pepper spray and the retractable baton.”
Next on the 721st SFS training agenda is the less shocking curriculum, land navigation.
“We’ll hold some LANDNAV exercises and a team building course out in Jack’s Valley at the United States Air Force Academy later this year,” Sergeant Stanton said.
In the meantime, several Cheyenne Mountain security forces Airmen still require Taser training.
“We always welcome volunteers to further our training opportunities,” he said.
Anyone wishing to support the 721st SFS training program by willfully volunteering to be tased may call Sergeant Stanton at 556-2327.