HomeNewsArticle Display

News Search

Ellsworth Defenders train to protect

Airman Keith Leflore, and John Bisbee, 28th Security Forces squadron defenders, clear a simulated hostile environment during an active shooter exercise at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Aug. 24, 2012. Active Shooter situations normally last no more than 15 minutes, but can result in major loss of life. Defenders must be able to quickly respond in order to prevent further loss of life. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Zachary Hada/Released)

Airman Keith Leflore, and John Bisbee, 28th Security Forces squadron defenders, clear a simulated hostile environment during an active shooter exercise at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Aug. 24, 2012. Active Shooter situations normally last no more than 15 minutes, but can result in major loss of life. Defenders must be able to quickly respond in order to prevent further loss of life. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Zachary Hada/Released)

Dion Harris (far right), 28th Security Forces lead training instructor, helps 28th SFS Airmen prepare to run through an active shooter course at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Aug. 24, 2012. The course focused on preparing Defenders to rapidly and effectively respond to an active shooter scenario. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Zachary Hada/Released)

Dion Harris (far right), 28th Security Forces lead training instructor, helps 28th SFS Airmen prepare to run through an active shooter course at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Aug. 24, 2012. The course focused on preparing Defenders to rapidly and effectively respond to an active shooter scenario. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Zachary Hada/Released)

Airmen assigned to the 28th Security Force use protective gear during an active shooter exercise at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Aug. 24, 2012. The course not only taught Airmen new tactics, but also touched on the psychology and characteristics of active shooters and lessons learned from previous training events.

Airmen assigned to the 28th Security Force use protective gear during an active shooter exercise at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Aug. 24, 2012. The course not only taught Airmen new tactics, but also touched on the psychology and characteristics of active shooters and lessons learned from previous training events.

Senior Airman John Halligan, 28th Security Forces Squadron response force leader, scans a facility for threats during an active shooter training exercise in a shoot house at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Aug. 24, 2012. The course focused on preparing Defenders to rapidly respond and deploy to an active shooter scenario, eliminate the threat, and prevent harm to innocent people nearby. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Hrair H. Palyan/Released)

Senior Airman John Halligan, 28th Security Forces Squadron response force leader, scans a facility for threats during an active shooter training exercise in a shoot house at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Aug. 24, 2012. The course focused on preparing Defenders to rapidly respond and deploy to an active shooter scenario, eliminate the threat, and prevent harm to innocent people nearby. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Hrair H. Palyan/Released)

The Defenders of the 28th Security Forces Airmen use M-9 and M-4 weapons loaded with simulated munitions during an active shooter exercise at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Aug. 24, 2012. The rounds provide a more realistic experience for Defenders, allowing them to employ the same tools, tactics, and procedures that can enhance their survivability during real-world situations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Zachary Hada/Released)

The Defenders of the 28th Security Forces Airmen use M-9 and M-4 weapons loaded with simulated munitions during an active shooter exercise at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Aug. 24, 2012. The rounds provide a more realistic experience for Defenders, allowing them to employ the same tools, tactics, and procedures that can enhance their survivability during real-world situations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Zachary Hada/Released)

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- Defenders from the 28th Security Forces Squadron participated in a new active shooter training course in a Combat Arms shoot house at Ellsworth, Aug. 24, as a way of honing the skills necessary to protect the 28th Bomb Wing's most valuable resource -its Airmen.

The course focused on preparing Defenders to rapidly respond and deploy to an active shooter scenario and eliminate the threat, while preventing any harm to innocent people nearby.

Dion Harris, 28th SFS lead training instructor, said the key was to make the exercise as realistic as possible while helping Airmen gain experience with their issued M-9 and M-4 weapons loaded with simulated munitions. He said the shoot house they used for training was designed to imitate different Ellsworth facilities, providing participants with a variety of building floor plans to clear and secure.

"We provided our Defenders with the proper tools, tactics, and procedures to enhance their survivability during this high-risk situation," said Harris. "This course not only taught Airmen new tactics, but also touched on the psychology and characteristics of active shooters based on lessons learned from previous active shooter events."

For some of the Airmen who participated in the course, this training exercise served as their first in the new shoot house located near the Combat Arms facility - helping them gain, "valuable hands on experience," according to Keith Leflore, 28th SFS response force member.

"There is no set way to clear a building or house, so we focus on perfecting our training and ensuring the safety of innocent people," Leflore said. "I learn something new every time."

Alongside Harris, Charles Norman, 28th SFS lead training instructor, explained that an active shooter situation can occur at any time or place without warning.

"These situations normally last no more than 15 minutes and can result in major loss of life," said Norman. "Our Airmen must be able to respond and prevent further loss of life in a decisive manner."

Harris said that as a trainer, he gives individual attention to all of the Airmen he instructs, ensuring they are able to eliminate threats during any type of active shooter situation.

In addition to providing training for 28th SFS members, Harris said he and his staff are available to provide information and training about how to respond to and steps to take during an active shooter event for all base personnel.

"The threat of an active shooter is real," Harris said. "It's important for Airmen across the wing to learn methods such as the run, hide, or fight technique - designed to increase their survivability."

Social Media