Combat Readiness Creates Camaraderie Published April 25, 2019 By Staff Sgt. Jorrie Hart 114th Fighter Wing Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif -- Approximately 35 Security Forces personnel from the 114th Security Forces Squadron deployed in support of the 114th Fighter Wing’s Lobo Plummet, held in southern California. The Defenders conducted flightline security for the F-16 Fighting Falcons at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar while also taking advantage of several unique training opportunities at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. The expeditionary skills training consisted of annual weapons qualifications, night fire utilizing laser sights, weapon familiarization, land navigation and an emphasis on Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) training. All of the combined training strengthened the Defenders’ skills and teamwork as they prepared for a final simulated mission in what security forces refers to as a MOUT village. “MOUT training is urban building clearing while implementing Simunition rounds, a non-lethal training ammunition, force on force scenarios, as well as shooting at targets inside the buildings at close range,” said Master Sgt. Dustin Buhl, 114th Security Forces Squadron training manager. “This is a possible tasking we could have if we deploy overseas, as well as one of our many home station trainings. It’s part of our combat readiness.” There are several components involved in preparing squads for a large-scale training scenario conducted in an unfamiliar setting. “Initially, we’ll go over some basic team movements in the classroom, basically how the book says we should do it. Then we do a crawl, walk, run pace of the training. Yesterday, we did some of the crawl-type training with small teams of four entering and learning buildings. By afternoon, we took it up a notch so the teams were moving from building to building with Simunitions. Today, we had squads of 13-plus people working an entire village in unison. It’s an annual requirement so each year we restart with the basics, and build up to the big day like we did today,” said Buhl. The squads, consisting of approximately three fire teams, each with four people, were given a modified operations order prior to embarking on their mission. During an ops order, the squads are given information about the scenario they will be entering, as well as their objectives to complete during the mission. “The ops order provided there were 15-20 hostiles in the village, and they were to accomplish their objective of reaching the target building and to eliminate the threats as they move through,” said Buhl. Targets were positioned inside buildings and throughout the village to simulate hostile forces. As the teams encountered them, they were to engage and eliminate the enemy. Defenders wore additional protective gear such as face masks, helmets, groin and neck protection while in the village due to the Simunition rounds used. “Those rounds hurt. They’ll definitely break the skin and leave marks,” added Buhl. The training conducted while in southern California had a two-fold effect on the entire Security Forces Squadron. The combat readiness training created a sense of camaraderie that is difficult to establish during a regular guard drill. “The best part for me personally is probably my connection with the rest of the squadron,” said Senior Airman Kadin Wolff, 114th Security Forces Squadron fire team member. “Once I came back from tech school, there was a large group that was deployed. When you’re deployed, you become a lot closer with the people you’re with. The few of us that returned to the squadron after tech school were on the outside because two days a month during guard drill isn’t enough to try and get to know each other. I would say the team building and morale has been the biggest and most beneficial part for me,” said Wolff. Unique opportunities like the MOUT village kept the motivation high for the Airmen, but the Defenders felt the camaraderie created within the squadron was immeasurable in comparison to the training.