Camp Guernsey leads active shooter training for AFGSC defenders

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Abbigayle Williams
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs

From the outside stands a tall metal building with no identifying features other than a bright orange sign proclaiming protection must be worn.

Inside the building is the response force tactical force cadre surrounded by dozens of Airmen. Behind them is their training ground for the week, a mock building.

Security Forces Airmen from across the Air Force, particularly Air Force Global Strike Command, come to Camp Guernsey, home to the 90th Ground Combat Training Squadron to participate in close quarter combat training.

The response force tactical course is a five-day intensive program to teach Airmen how to infiltrate a building safe, sure and lethal when directed during active shooter scenarios.

“In moments where there is an active shooter that is trying to take mass causality, these defenders are showing up in teams and the longer it takes them to enter the structure, the slower their progress which allows the combatant to continue to take life,” said Staff Sgt. Grant Uhrich, 90th Ground Combat Training Squadron response force tactical course team leader. “This training allows these defenders to move in, with an increased level of training, clear the rooms faster and get to the threat faster. This allows us to save people’s lives on our establishment.”

During the training, the Airmen went over various tactics on entering and clearing a room, brushed up on M4 and M9 shooting and went through simulated night time situations with night vision goggles.

Additionally, the Airmen were introduced to the M84 flashbang and were able to experience the effects once released.

“A big portion of our security forces is law enforcement and preventing loss of life, increasing officer safety and safety of individuals within an area,” said Uhrich. “Here at Camp Guernsey we give the Airmen a lot of exposure to M84 flashbangs. This distractionary device is a less than lethal ammunition grenade that helps to distract and cause chaos and allows us to make it through the door safely and gain control.”

The course is offered six times a year at Camp Guernsey and it has been proven beneficial for the Airmen participating in the course.

“Not only do the Airmen come here and enjoy themselves on a personal level because it’s fun and there is a lot of shooting, but as a defender, they have increased their combat capability and lethality by learning additional shooting and tactics,” said Uhrich.

Once the Airmen have completed the course, they are capable of training others in close combat situations and they feel more comfortable entering those active shooter situations.

Uhrich also noted that instructing the response force tactical course is beneficial and rewarding for him too.

“I find this job extremely rewarding,” said Uhrich. “The cadre gets to take Airmen from day one where they may have issues handling a weapon or have issues with the complexity of clearing a structure and by the end they are able, under complete darkness with night vision goggles, to not have any flagging and have increased lethality.”