Security forces ready for the worst


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673d Security Forces Squadron and Anchorage Police Department officers perform their annual High-Risk Response training in conjunction with police week at the Base Exchange May 17. High-Risk Response is training used to familiarize 673d Security Forces and APD members with active-shooter situations and practices the rules of engagement.

U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Ty-Rico Lea

Airmen and civilians of 673d Security Forces Squadron performed their annual high-risk response training during Police Week, training that is part of a Pacific Air Forces-wide program.

The U.S. Air Force partnered with Analytical Services Incorporated to conduct a diverse range of high-risk response exercises. Headquartered in Shirlington, Va., ANSER is a public service research institute that worked with the Air Force in 1958 to help with the research and development of more proficient ways of assessing situations that threaten the security of America and its people. A cadre consisting of ANSER senior analysts devised several exercises, which utilized the concepts of responding to high risk situations.

“All throughout Police Week, we exercise training involving an active shooter that could appear anywhere on base,” said Air Force 2nd Lt. Amber Evans, a 673d SFS flight commander. “Scenarios included places such as elementary schools at the base exchange.”

Security Forces service members were trained on the key pieces of high-risk response principles, including the use of force, the history of active shooters and navigating through a hostage situation.

“The high-risk response training that took place at the [base exchange] was the culmination of all aspects used to train for any active shooter situation,” Evans said. “High-risk responses are particularly challenging as you always have to go in with the mind-set that it’s going to be a no win situation.”

According to a public release written by Air Force Staff Sgt. Rogelio Diaz, 673d SFS training instructor, this type of training is used to avoid any type of loss, ranging from lives to property damage. Situations in the past have proven this type of training is critical as each one is variable and unpredictable. The Office of the Secretary of Defense advised all services to provide “active shooter” response training to all security personnel in response to the Fort Hood, Texas, shooting.

As part of the exercise, Air Force members from different squadrons also played the parts of hostages to gain the feel and experience of being in a hostage situation.

“We all had fun participating in the high-risk response training,” said Airman 1st Class Patrick Frick, 673d Communications Squadron cyber system operator. “Ultimately we were really glad to help out.”

Evans said whenever responding to an active shooter situation, security forces members always use the implementation of non-lethal approaches unless instructed otherwise or if they deem the shooter hostile.

“When it comes to saving lives, saving one is better than saving none,” Evans said.

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