Security Forces Airmen from across the Kaiserslautern Military Community graduated from a Phoenix Raven Qualification Course Feb. 12 on Ramstein Air Base.
The Airmen completed approximately three weeks of rigorous training to join the Air Force’s Raven program. The program focuses on the concept of specially-trained security forces Airmen who travel with and protect Air Force aircraft around the world.
The Raven students came from the 86th Security Forces Squadron, 435th Security Forces Squadro and 569th U.S. Forces Police Squadron.
This particular class is unique because instead of taking place at the Raven program’s hub at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, it took place at Ramstein. U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa and 86th Airlift Wing leadership requested a mobile training team to come from JB MDL and conduct the course here.
Master Sgt. Sean Cunningham, 421st Combat Training Squadron Phoenix Raven Qualification Course director, oversaw the class and served as the master of ceremonies for the graduation. He commended the graduates for their perseverance throughout the course.
“On behalf of my fellow cadre and the United States Air Force Expeditionary Center, we thank you for the opportunity to train you,” he said. “We wish you the best of luck in all your endeavors and look forward to seeing you down range. You are the backbone of airpower from the ground up.”
The Air Mobility Command Phoenix Raven Qualification Course involves daily physical training sessions, Armament Systems and Procedures Baton training, use-of-force scenarios, combatives and live-fire training. The course also includes 15 academic classes, which cover topics such as airfield assistance and embassy operations.
The cadre who led the course at Ramstein described Raven training as the most intense training in the Air Force security forces world.
Brig. Gen. Richard G. Moore Jr., 86th AW commander, congratulated the new Ravens and handed them their graduation certificates.
The graduates also received the Raven tab, which they can now wear on their uniforms, and a coin with their Raven number on it.
Only a small portion of security forces Airmen have the opportunity join the Raven corps. Moore encouraged the graduates to take pride in their accomplishment and use their new found skills wherever they find themselves later on in their careers.
“There are less than 3,000 of you anywhere in the world,” Moore said. “Your number is yours now, and it will be yours forever. You will find yourselves in a wide variety of situations that you haven’t planned for … situations that are uncertain and many situations that are unsafe. And what do you do? Simply rely on your training. Rest assured, if you rely on your training and execute it properly, we’ll take care of all the rest back home.”
Master Sgt. Edward Mann IV, 86th Security Forces Squadron flight chief, one of the graduates in this class, expressed gratefulness for becoming a Raven and looked forward to more opportunities in his career.
Mann acknowledged that the training was very difficult and that a student needed not only physical strength but mental strength as well. He said he is proud not just of himself, but his classmates as well.
“It’s an awesome accomplishment, and it’s something I’ve always wanted,” he said. “I see how happy these guys are, and that just makes me proud. Hopefully I get to lead some of these Airmen down range.”
Knowing that there are trained Airmen standing guard all the time gives us all peace of mind, Moore said.
“One of the things that keeps me from losing sleep at night is knowing we have the very best defenders, that they are keeping watch — no matter what time, no matter what airfield, no matter what weather conditions,” he said. “Everybody’s going to be safe, and we know that because you’re there.”