By Michael Golembesky
21st Space Wing Public Affairs staff writer
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The scenario began when two security forces Airmen came under fire while approaching a C-130H aircraft on the Peterson AFB runway. What followed was a simulated event to hone skills and community collaboration between military and civilian law enforcement.
The joint training exercise May 14 included the 302nd Airlift Wing, 21st Security Forces Squadron, Fountain Valley and Monument police departments in an effort to combine resources and to grow as a “community team” that can seamlessly integrate with each other during real world events in the Pikes Peak region.
The training opportunities allow the teams to get the needed experience before having to respond to a real-world scenario, said Senior Master Sgt. Daniel Anthony, 302nd AW flight chief and patrolman with the Fountain Valley Police Department. “Our (police) department is very big on collaboration with military resources,” he said.
“This is one of those chances where we can have the military service members partner up with civilian tactical teams and learn something they may not have had a chance to be exposed to before,” Anthony said.
The Colorado Springs area has had its fair share of large-scale events in recent years including the Waldo Canyon and Black Forest fires, which pulled in resources from all across the Pikes Peak region. Team Pete is no stranger to joint operations to support local efforts. This hostage standoff exercise is just another way that Peterson AFB has shown its commitment to prepare for and be “in sync” with local agencies should the need arise.
“Learning tactics — sharing and learning so we can all be on the same sheet of music when conducting a type of operation like this — this is an invaluable training opportunity for us,” said Anthony. “Our team is not big enough to handle a scenario such as this one, so we would have to partner up with another agency to successfully pull something like this off in a real-world event.”
In a time where many agencies are working with tighter budgets, collaborating and joining resources to maintain proficiency also provides opportunities to access different training and facilities.
“Everyone has short budgets right now, both civilian and military. Everyone has had to do the same mission, if not more, with fewer resources. So the only way to maintain that level of readiness, we all need to join forces,” said Anthony.
Organizers emphasized to the participants that there is always room to learn something new as they conducted classes and rehearsal drills prior to the scenario execution.
“It’s always good to have the same tactics; we want to be doing the same things that Colorado Springs Police Department is doing on their tactical team, so if we go somewhere to assist, we are all employing the same types of tactics,” said Anthony. “And the same go for the military side of the house.”
Sometimes it is not so much about the training event itself, but rather what is gained through the collaborative effort and the friendships forged.
“The networking that is done during events like this will become handy for years to come,” said Anthony. “It’s about being a team and working together. I want people walking out of here today to have learned something new, something they didn’t know — another tool to put in their toolbox.”