786th SFS leads CRG in air base defense exercise

Airman Edward Drescher
Kaiserslautern American

***image1***The 786th Security Forces Squadron recently deployed to a training site in Hohenfels, Germany, as part of the 86th Contingency Response Group exercise Irish Spring.

The five-day exercise scenario put the units in a hostile environment in Iraq. The units had to quickly set up base by building a tent city. The 786th SFS was in control of the whole security package for the exercise and their main goal was to ensure and protect flying operations.

“We gather the personnel, we come up with the plan and we execute the plan,” said Master Sgt. Eric Hein, 786th SFS NCOIC of operations.

Security forces run their operations out of the Base Defense Operations Center or BDOC. This is the command and control center where security forces work in conjunction with intelligence. The Air Force Office of Special Investigations is deployed with the 86th CRG and they also work hand-in-hand at the B-DOC. Together they keep the commander abreast of any force protection issues.

In addition, a civil engineer assigned to the squadron was deployed on the exercise.

His first objective was to survey the conditions of the airfield and
determine suitability for landing.

His main objective was to plan and oversee the construction of the base.

“He plans where the tents go and where the heaters go,” said 1st Lt. Mike Jewell, 786th SFS assistant operations officer. “Basically he’s the mayor of the base.”

Twenty Airmen deployed with security forces, which gave them one 13-man group for security purposes – in charge of patrols and manning posts around the perimeter.

“The goal with a 13-man squad is to make ourselves look bigger than we really are,” said Staff Sgt. Gregory Belzer, 786th SFS integrated base defense instructor.

If a problem came up where more people were needed, then the remaining 86th CRG Airmen are also trained to respond.
“Everyone’s a shooter first,” said Sergeant Hein.

The 786th SFS worked with the 86th Air Mobility Squadron setting up the air base.

“It’s always important to train before you go downrange. You have to work out the little kinks, which then works out the kinks at every level,” said Sergeant Hein.

An untrained person downrange can be considered a liability or a threat that could possibly delay the mission.

“They will take longer to get things done, they will be doing things they don’t know how to do, and there is always the risk of injury,” said Staff. Sgt. Sean Garcie, NCOIC of sniper operations.

Sniper operations work with intelligence on counter sniper and reconnaissance operations. Enemy approach areas are highlighted and sniper ops sends a sniper to that area to watch.

Security forces plan and execute deployment scenario missions and must work in compliance with many other units in order to complete the overall mission.