Tag Archives: Advanced Contingency Skills Training

Advanced Combat Controller Training

Advanced Combat Controller Training

This blog focuses on a Senior Airman that has done something out of the box. Senior Airman David Salinitri, a public affairs specialist for the Air Force Special Operations Command, has taken the challenge to go through combat controller training for documentation. He is wearing a helmet cam to show the world firsthand what it takes to be a combat controller.

“I can bench press near 250lbs, but when it came to having to maneuver my way through this rope course, the course definitely had its way with me.”

Airman Salinitri walks us through his experiences and how he performs while training. He is required to go through courses like rope climbing, water confidence, buddy breathing, etc. As I perused his videos and images, I felt the pain our Airmen endure to defend our nation. It makes me want to be there and not be there at the same time. Combat Controllers are much respected Airmen with a huge sense of pride, and if I was in their shoes I would feel the same way. Interested in learning more? Take a deep breath, and prepare for a blog that falls just short of coating you in sweat. Yeah, it’s that intense. Check it out.

PHOTO: Combat Control students from the Special Tactics Training Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Fla., assemble their gear during water confidence training, Sept. 9, 2010 here.

Advanced Contingency Skills training wraps up, Airmen move out

The graduates of the 16+ days of training at Ft. Dix, N.J. have something to be proud of, they’ve learned valuable skills that may save their life, or the lives of their fellow joint servicemembers on the ground.  Time and time again, we heard plenty of stories from Airmen and Soldiers about Airmen performing more and more ground missions outside the wire.  Gun truck stories, patrols, medical evacuations, you name it, it came up here.

An interesting point about this training has been that it appears to be creating a cultural shift in the Air Force, one from the ground up. Training and educating a few Airmen at a time on skills necessary to contribute to the fights on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Most of this training is completely new to Airmen.  The ground up training is led by the”senior” folks teaching the classes who weren’t senior in age or rank, but senior in experience.  Most instructors were Staff and Tech. Sgts; they were pros! Real pros with experience, motivation and Airmanship and these very few are providing skills that “hopefully will never be used,” according to an instructor on the first day.


The training from one student, Staff Sgt. J.G. Buzanowski: “The training at the Air Force Expeditionary Center was above and beyond training I’ve received at other locations run by other services. The instructors pride themselves on their ability to motivate and stay motivated. That esprit de corps makes learning the material they have to teach more approachable and easier to retain.

Personally I know I’ll be using the skills we learned while we were here. When I deploy, I know I’ll be on convoys, I’ll have to know how to defend a forward operating base and if someone gets hurt, I feel confident that I’d be able to help keep them alive until medical professionals can treat them.

The biggest benefit for me has been the chance to document the course by carrying a camera and notepad on almost all our training days. As a result, I have more than a thousand photos for people to take home and remember not only what we learned, but with whom we all learned these valuable skills. We’ve made friends and gotten to know people who will deploy and work with us. I can’t wait to look them up when I get downrange.

For many Airmen, continuing to serve in the Air Force is largely due to the people in it. The last three weeks have been a testament to that thought as we prepare to go into harm’s way alongside these new comrades in arms. The confidence we have in ourselves and in our fellow Airmen will make mission accomplishment that much easier.”

This post is part of a series on the U.S. Air Force’s Advanced Contingency Skills Training at the Expeditionary Center at Ft. Dix, N.J.  Photos and video will be posted soon.

Air Force’s Combat First Aid…

I’ll admit that when I first heard the phrase Air Force combat first aid, I was somewhat unclear on the training and the need.  But as the scenarios played out and real-life examples were given from our instructors, it was clear, these were skills Airmen can use in any trauma, especially downrange. Fantastic and realistic class.


Tech. Sgt. Scott Haas provides cover while other Airmen perform first aid on a simulated victim.
Tech. Sgt. Scott Haas, a contracting NCO from Moron AB, Spain provides cover while other Airmen perform first aid on a simulated victim.
Tech. Sgt. Scott Haas said: “Combat First Aid was much better than I thought it would be. The SABC [self aide buddy care] system that we have been taught for all these years doesn’t relate well to a combat environment. The quicker we can get a downed person out of harm’s way, the better chance everyone has to come back with their life. Granted we were being fired at with blanks but hopefully with the training we received today everyone will be able to recognize and react to what needs to be done if we are put in a real world situation.”
Hotel Flight Airmen demo the litter.
Hotel Flight Airmen demo the litter.
Tech. Sgt. Scott Haas, a contracting NCO from Moron AB, Spain moves through the Ft. Dix, N.J. woods.
Tech. Sgt. Scott Haas, a contracting NCO from Moron AB, Spain moves through the Ft. Dix, N.J. woods.

More photos of Air Force’s Advanced Contingency Skills training online

Here’s a few links to photos of our training we’ve put up on the U.S. Air Force’s Expeditionary Center’s website.

– Capt. Casey Pease, a contracting officer stationed in Texas, prepares to kick the door in — more.

– Senior Airman Zachary Greenlee, and other members of Hotel Flight perform convoy duty in the New Jersey woods — more.

– Made a ‘splash’ when we hit the water.  Humvee. Impressed — more.

We’ll post more here and here when they come in.

Air Force Combatives provides training for all types of Airmen

The following are two perspectives from two different Airmen in the U.S. Air Force’s Advanced Contingency Skills Training Course.  The first is from Capt. Jessica Woods, a Civil Engineering officer stationed in Texas and the second is from Senior Airman Brady Cooper, an Airman stationed in Nebraska.  See more photos here of the different training we’ve been going through. Comabtives provided both Airmen with basic self-defense abilities that could be used in a variety of situations.

Captain Woods:The combatives course is an excellent part of the ACST training.  Based on the Army’s modern combatives course and intended for close quarters combat, it was definitely something new to me.  Even if I never actually have to use

Capt. Jessica Woods, a Civil Engineering Officer attempts to break Airman 1st Class Steve Conklin's "Guard."
Capt. Jessica Woods, a Civil Engineering Officer, attempts to break Airman 1st Class Steve Conklin's 'Guard.'
this down range, the course provides a great basic skill set and builds confidence necessary for self defense.  As a female, the training is even more invaluable.”


Senior Airman Cooper:“Recently while attending ACST for some pre-deployment training, my classmates and I went through a basic “level 1” combatives class. As a current martial arts practitioner (Muy Thai, Jiu Jitsu, some Judo) I believe the Air Force is doing a great initial job and should expand to teach more than “basic” self defense to all Airmen for several reasons.  – Airmen are currently becoming more and more involved and hands on with OIF and OEF, in combat roles.  
– Augmenting Security Forces, being members of convoys, and so forth, Airmen are being put in the line of fire more and more, and possibly being put in situations where knowing how to defend themselves in a hand-to-hand conflict would be very beneficial to the Air Force in possibly saving that Airman’s life.

But combat situations are not the only reason I believe Airmen should learn self defense.  If an Airman encounters someone who is out to cause some harm, even locally in the states, they should be able to and know how to defend themselves for their safety and to make sure they are still able to perform their mission.   

As far as style goes, I believe the Air Force should integrate more of a Krav Maga style on top of the current Jiu Jitsu platform they are already working with.   This training should be started in basic training, even with a one day a week class, or possibly dedicate an entire week in BMT to teaching Airmen these self defense techniques and go beyond “basic” self defense. Then after basic, provide free of charge classes for Airmen who would like to continue this training. 

The Air Force is starting strong in teaching all Airmen basic self defense while giving them the tools to make it home safely and continue to do their job after encountering an adverse situation in which they need to apply these self defense measures to prevent death or severe injury.  “