Law enforcement officers train 413th FTG Airmen on active shooter response

  • Published
  • By Jamal D. Sutter
  • 413th Flight Test Group Public Affairs
More than 80 Reserve Citizen Airmen with the 413th Aeromedical Staging Squadron (ASTS) gathered for active shooter response training hosted by off-base Georgia law enforcement officers June 2.

Police Col. Chris Smith and Specialized Parole Officer Phil Burrell visited the unit and led the presentation that covered the history and prevalence of active shooter events in the U.S. and strategies for surviving such a situation.

Burrell said the purpose of the training program is to help the public understand the phycology behind properly responding to an active shooter event. Noting that the military is not excluded from these types of incidents, he said it was important to share the information with the 413th ASTS.

"People think, 'Oh, they're military, so they're armed on post', which is not the case," Burrell explained. "Most individuals on post are not armed. It's just the security forces who are armed. They cannot necessarily retaliate with armed force, so they need to know how to evade and escape that threat."

The idea to have an off-base agency hold active shooter response training for the unit came about when Tech. Sgt. Angela Battle attended a supervision class for her civilian job. Battle, who is a medical administrator with the 413th ASTS, is also a police officer with the Albany Police Department. One of the officers in her class said he taught the course, which led to Battle inquiring about getting the program to base.

"We have the [computer-based training] for active shooter [response training]," Battle said. "But people do best when they're in a hands-on situation. In policing, we train. We train, we train, we train; it's called muscle memory."

In addition to covering training material, the law enforcement officers opened the floor to questions, where the Citizen Airmen brought up discussions on state laws and ways to make the community a better and safer environment.

Smith is a director of training with the Lee County, Georgia, Sheriff's Office, and Burrell works with the Albany Transitional Center's Department of Community Supervision.

The 413th ASTS plans on teaming with the law enforcement agencies again in the future for more in-depth, scenario-based training sessions.