F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. --
Security forces Airmen from the 20th Air Force joined together for a Krav Maga military instructor certification course, organized by the 20th AF ICBM Center of Excellence here, Sept. 10-16.
This was the first time the week-long course was offered to defenders in 20th AF. The certification allows these Airmen to share the self-defense training with their respective units.
“As a defender, it’s interesting to get into a different mindset and learn self-defense,” said Tech. Sgt. Roderick Palmer, 20th AF ICE instructor. “It’s not just about drawing a weapon. There are lesser means of force we can use in our operations.”
Defenders can add this training to their toolkit as they carry out the mission of securing 20th AF’s 450 Minuteman III ICBMs.
“The nuclear enterprise is always being looked at by our allies and enemies,” said Staff Sgt. Colin Tucker, 341st Security Forces Squadron NCO in charge of unit training. “Learning these skills better equips us to respond to a threat.”
Originally from Israel, Krav Maga means “contact combat” in English and is the official form of hand-to-hand combat taught to their military.
“It doesn’t matter your shape, size, gender or age because this program is designed to work for everyone,” said Jon Pascal, Krav Maga Worldwide Force Training Division instructor. “It’s built on natural, instinctive movements that beginners can learn quickly, which will complement the Airmen’s existing knowledge of defense.”
Airmen learned how to defend against chokes, headlocks, hand guns, long guns, knives and sticks. Additionally, participants grasped how to use their bodies as a weapon.
“This course can make anybody a better defender,” Palmer said. “It increases self-confidence, and it gives you the ability to think on your feet.”
The ICE offers multiple training and professional development courses throughout the year for all Airmen, regardless of rank or Air Force specialty code.
“We are the one-stop shop instructor schoolhouse and evaluator school for our Numbered Air Force,” said Maj. John Grimes, 20th AF ICE commandant. “We have operators flying on the Airborne Command Post or experiencing a test launch at Vandenberg Air Force Base. It’s important that all Airmen get that big-picture view of nuclear operations to better understand how they fit into nuclear deterrence.”
The ICE researches courses throughout the Department of Defense, and beyond, to create various professional development opportunities for Airmen. This includes traveling to higher-level conferences such as U.S. Strategic Command’s Deterrence Symposium and the Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium.
“We are in the process of revamping our SharePoint site to make it more user friendly to sign up for the courses we offer,” Grimes said. “The word is getting out about these courses, and the feedback has been positive.”
With the knowledge gained from the course, defenders are better able to support the defense of the ICBM mission.
“This course is definitely not for someone who doesn’t have the motivation,” Tucker said. “It’s extremely physical, but it has been really fun and really intense.”