By Scott Prater
Senior Airman Darius Wallace, 50th Security Forces Squadron, had been enjoying his recent deployment to southwest Asia when Air Force NCOs informed him he was selected to perform a special duty.
As a M240B machine gunner with the Quick Reaction Force, Wallace’s days were normally spent patrolling his Air Force installation. He relished his hours at the shooting range and the ease of movement through the surrounding host country.
He’s not sure why he was selected to provide training to host-country military police, though.
“While I was there, I earned the Mission Support Group Airman of the Quarter honor, so maybe that had something to do with it,” he said. “All I know is my first sergeant told me to turn in my armaments and report to the installation gymnasium the next day.”
Once he arrived, Wallace was greeted by his squadron’s NCO in charge of training and 30 to 40 local military police.
“That first day, I kept asking myself if I really knew that much,” he said. “But, once we got into the training, things just came naturally. We basically taught our trainees about security forces tactics, how to hold a weapon in certain circumstances, and how we would breach a door or move through a building.”
This training was quite different from anything he had experienced throughout his Air Force career. For one thing, his students spoke no English.
“Translators relayed our instructions well,” he said. “We simply adapted to the process and the students were quick learners.”
Trainees would sit for classroom instruction early in the day, listening to power point and white-board presentations.
Wallace entered the scene when it was time for hands-on training.
While his trainees carried rubber weapons, Wallace split the group into smaller units and walked them through tactical lessons, stopping occasionally to correct and teach as they practiced what they were taught.
“It was interesting to watch them conduct an operation for the first time,” he said. “You don’t realize how advanced our forces are until you see, firsthand, how others perform.
These were military police too, and they weren’t young soldiers. They forgot a lot of the concepts we covered the first day, but we kept reiterating and they caught on pretty quickly as we moved along.”
He’s confident, however, that his trainees learned a great deal and that they were very appreciative of his help.
“The best part of the experience was getting to know the trainees and how they operate,” he said. “They liked to have a good time, but they were serious when they needed to be. We also got a lot of satisfaction out of knowing we were helping them progress.”
Wallace admitted he was sad to see the week long training end. He learned much about the culture and lifestyle of the host nation and made many new friends.
“They thanked us for training them,” he said. “From then on, whenever I would see them on the base they would walk up and give me hug, say ‘hi’ and inquire as to how I was doing.”
Though he was the trainer, Wallace learned perhaps as much as his students.
“It gave me a new appreciation for my skills and knowledge,” he said. “In the grand scheme of things, I really didn’t think I knew that much, but teaching brought it all out. I’m just glad I had the opportunity. I would do it again and highly recommend it to other members.”
While he’s now returned to Schriever, news of his deployment performance followed him home and squadron leaders continue to recognize him as someone other Airmen can emulate.
“As a security forces Airman, Senior Airman Wallace completes 210 hours of annual training. He is a motivated and focused Airman with solid tactics,” said Capt. Jennifer Titkemeier, 50 SFS operations and training officer. “It is no surprise he was selected to conduct this training.”