Fairchild security forces team trains for Rodeo

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Kristian Carter
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
It's 9 a.m. and already getting warm as three security forces Airmen run to the first of nine checkpoints in a multi-stage field training exercise July 13 at Fairchild Air Force Base.

The 92nd Security Forces Squadron's Air Mobility Command Rodeo 2007 team is training for the competition, which runs from July 21 through 28 at McChord AFB, Wash.

The AMC Rodeo competition focuses on readiness, and features airdrop, air refueling, and other events showcasing security forces, aerial port, maintenance and aeromedical evacuation personnel.

The team, wearing flak vests, Kevlar helmets and carrying M-4 rifles and other gear, is running trough a training course that incorporates multiple tasks that could be used in a tactical environment. These tasks include self aid and buddy care, orienteering, calling in emergency close air support, reporting aeromedical evacuation requirements, weapons knowledge and visually estimating distances.

Staff Sgt. Levi Wilson led Senior Airmen Lonnie Bell and David Jones around this training course in a large open field near the Rambo Gate. All three Airmen are assigned to the 92nd SFS. The course tests these Airmen in many of the same tasks that they will face when they go to Rodeo, said Bob Gambrel, the team's coach also with the 92nd SFS.

This is just one piece of the rigorous training regimen Mr. Gambrel is using to develop the team's skills and physical endurance. They are swimming sprints and diving for bricks three times a week, weight training, performing calisthenics, running and practicing sharp shooting skills.

All the additional preparation appears to be working.

"Today the team was 30 minutes faster than they were yesterday," Mr. Gambrel said. "I expect they'll be able to shave another 12 minutes before Rodeo."

Sergeant Wilson participated in Guardian Challenge in 2001, but as for Rodeo, this team's members, who have been training since May, are all new.

"These guys are training and honing the same skills they use on the job to protect the installation, its resources and people," said Mr. Gambrel, a retired security forces senior master sergeant. "They perform this type of training year-round."

In addition to security forces, Fairchild AFB will be sending teams to compete in the operations and maintenance categories.

The competition will include 45 U.S. teams, including three from the Marine Corps and one from the Coast Guard, and international competitors from as far as Australia, Europe, South America, and Southeast Asia and the Middle East.