By Senior Airman Tiffany DeNault
21st Space Wing Public Affairs
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The general rule of thumb is not to bring a knife to a gun fight. Security forces also don’t want to bring a gun to a fist fight. Where is the in-between? The expandable baton is an answer.
Members of the 21st Security Forces Squadron participate in yearly training for the secondary weapon, the expandable baton. The baton is one of a few ways to help keep control of a situation and prevent unnecessary injuries to not only the subject but also themselves.
“We (security forces) have the taser and the expandable baton, each has its place in the Use of Force Model and certain scenarios,” said Isaac Lopez, 21st SFS training supervisor. “If we did not have the secondary or less than lethal tool, we could be placed in a situation where we or the subject might be hurt unnecessarily.”
The training is used to teach security forces members several aspects of the baton. For example the training demonstrates the principles of its use, why it’s effective, what happens when the baton makes contact with the subject, and also, where it may or may not fit into a Use of Force scenario.
“Given a scenario where we have determined we will have to use force we would want to use only the minimum amount of force to control the subject,” said Lopez.
The attendees also participate in a practical setting for the class where they get to strike a combative bag for practice. There they cover the proper techniques, for example, how to strike and how to use it as a leverage device. They also demonstrate where and where not to strike to maintain control of the situation and not cause an unnecessary injury to anyone involved.
The realism and stress during in class practice provides the members experience and confidence necessary to execute their mission safeguarding the people, property and resources on Peterson Air Force Base and Colorado’s Front Range.