159th Security Forces bring out the big guns

By Tech. Sgt. Sienna M. Schehr
159th Fighter Wing Unit Public Affairs Representative

ALEXANDRIA, La. – More than 50 members of the 159th Security Forces Squadron participated in a week long, action-packed annual training exercise at Camp Beauregard in Pineville, July 11-15, allowing the Airmen an opportunity to practice their primary expeditionary duties.

“My goal was to complete primary requirements without any distractions,” said Maj. Sean F. Conroy, commander of the 159th SFS, 159th Fighter Wing. “It was great to come up here and utilize the range for heavy and small arms training and land navigation–just some of the things we are unable to do back in New Orleans.”

Training included tasks such as weapons training, battle drills, dismounted combat patrols, land navigation skills and other small unit tactics.

The Airmen qualified on several weapons including the M4 carbine, M9 Beretta 92FS, M240B automatic machine gun, M249 squad automatic weapon and the M203 grenade launcher. They also accomplished night-fire weapons qualifications and several hours of classroom work.

“This is my first annual training, and it was a great experience overall,” said Airman 1st Class Mark Lier, a Metairie native. “The instructors were very knowledgeable and thorough; they not only knew their specialty but every aspect of Security Forces as a whole.”

“We got to do a lot of hands-on training with the weapons; breaking it down, going through the clearing cycles and the functions,” said Lier. “I believe all of these points are important in knowing your weapon and how to respond to it prior to going overseas.”

The 159th SFS mission is to provide base security and air base ground defense beyond the limits of the base perimeter, fully preparing them for any internal or external threats that may arise.

“The training couldnt get any better than this,” said Staff Sgt. Jonas J. Johnnie, 159th SFS fire team leader from Lafayette.

The week ended with a field training exercise–a combat patrol in the summer heat to a simulated enemy compound–which required the use of their tactical training from the entire week.
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“It took us two days to plan out this operation order that would give the Airmen an opportunity to apply their newly developed or enhanced skills,” said Master Sgt. Jeffrey S. Villemarette, 159th SFS troop commander from Lacombe.

“Our Airmen performed flawlessly and demonstrated a high degree of motivation, enthusiasm, and unit esprit de corps which had a profound impact on making this annual training a resounding success!” said Kenner-native Master Sgt. Milton N. Ramirez, operations noncommissioned officer in charge for the 159th SFS.

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