The past two training days opened eyes to what American servicemembers are experiencing in deployed locations supporting contingencies around the world. However, specific details like tactics, techniques and procedures learned during these parts of the training will not be discussed due to their sensitive nature and potential for being used against our men and women in uniform. Only generalities will be discussed.
The urban training for Airmen was primarily for familiarization to what other services do. Average Airmen aren’t experts in this type of combat, nor are they normally trained or equipped to be experts in this for this is not their primary mission. The training we went through provided basic insight into how this type of combat is conducted. The training solidified more teamwork and had our small teams moving, shooting and engaging in unison. It was interesting, intense, stressful and fun and we have a deeper respect for our forces who do this mission.
Unlike engagements in an urban setting, many Airmen do find themselves in convoys, whether as riders or active gunners. Our instructor reflected on the more than 300 missions he performed while in Iraq and discussed a lot of the pressures and scenarios as they happened to him when he rolled out the gates of his FOB.
So are Airmen in convoys? Yes. Some may think that America’s airpower only comes from the skies supporting Soldiers and Marines on the ground with smart bombs, but Airmen do perform and are in convoys being hit today. See how Air Force Airmen are engaged here and past accounts here, and here.
It was even more real when the instructor stated that all Airmen will land at an airfield somewhere, then will have to get to their base and “may need these skills to convoy.” This couldn’t have been more true.
This is an on-going series about the U.S. Air Force’s Advanced Contingency Skills Training at Ft. Dix, NJ. More than 9,000 Airmen come through this course annually.