BDS strengthens airfield security capabilities

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Erick Requadt
  • 23d Wing Public Affairs

The 823d Base Defense Squadron (BDS) conducted airfield security operations during adaptive base training, Jan. 28-29, 2018, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga.

The training was geared around bolstering the 823d BDS’s adaptive base readiness to give more autonomy at the squadron level, where Airmen improved their capabilities to effectively and efficiently on-load equipment along with more than 30 fully-equipped personnel into an aircraft, followed by off-loading into establishing airfield security.

“The intent is to test our capabilities and find a baseline for adaptive basing,” said Tech. Sgt. Roland Courtemanche, 823d BDS NCO in charge of training. “The concept of this training is to have multiple squads of defenders, geographically separated from the headquarters unit, able to perform agile combat support for isolated, short-duration use.  This places command and control responsibility at a much lower level, enabling our Squad Leaders operational control of their security mission.”

This training differs from previous iterations, in that it is being done on a larger scale, to rise to the ever-constant challenge for the U.S. military to maintain its strategic advantage to be the most effective adaptive force in the world.

“In the past, (the 820th Base Defense Group (BDG)) utilized the C-130s to transport humvees with minimum personnel,” said Courtemanche. “Now, we are looking at multiple (military RZR all-terrain vehicles), loaded with enough equipment, ammo, water, fuel and food to sustain defenders for 5-7 days.  This setup aligns with the BDGs transition to the agile combat support that the adaptive basing concept brings.”

Through this training, Courtemanche looks to have it serve as an opportunity to build strong units and make battlefield Airmen the most deployed-ready they can be.

“The training enhances readiness and lethality in preparation against advanced adversaries,” said Courtemanche. “It allows our defenders to perform at the tactical level while remaining independent and self-sustaining.”

As with any new initiative, this training wasn’t without its difficulties; but when given such occasions to rise, the battlefield Airmen were able to excel into proficiency. 

“The intent of this training was to see what works and what doesn’t so a standard can be put into place,” said Airman 1st Class Hannah Knupp, 823d BDS fireteam member. “It was a challenge to get everyone up to speed on what the plan was. But this training gave us the opportunity to step up into leadership roles that we otherwise wouldn’t have. We still have a lot to learn, but our goal is to continue growing and improving our skills.”

With the BDG continually pushing the boundaries on how to have their Airmen be the most combat-ready warriors, Courtemanche brimmed with hope at the outlook of the path ahead of them, and journey yet to come.

“This is an opportunity for the BDG to set the pace on adaptive basing as well as future operations,” said Courtemanche. “It’s a new concept that is just beginning to be understood by security forces, and the BDG is honored to be a part of it.”