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SFS simulates deployment patrol: Airmen vs. insurgents

A reservist from the 419th Security Forces Squadron posts in formation during an exercise Sept. 13, 2020, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

A reservist from the 419th Security Forces Squadron posts in formation during an exercise Sept. 13, 2020, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The exercise was planned to test the reservists’ formation in a simulated deployment patrol. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Anthony Pham)

Reservists from the 419th Security Forces Squadron apprehend a suspect in an exercise during an exercise Sept. 13, 2020, on Hill Air Force Base, Utah

Reservists from the 419th Security Forces Squadron apprehend a suspect in an exercise during an exercise Sept. 13, 2020, on Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The exercise was planned to test the reservists’ formation in a simulated deployment patrol. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Anthony Pham)

A reservist from the 419th Security Forces Squadron briefs his fellow Airmen during an exercise Sept. 13, 2020, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

A reservist from the 419th Security Forces Squadron briefs his fellow Airmen during an exercise Sept. 13, 2020, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The members were getting ready for a simulated deployment patrol. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Anthony Pham)

Reservists from the 419th Security Forces Squadron walks in formation during an exercise Sept. 13, 2020, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

Reservists from the 419th Security Forces Squadron walks in formation during an exercise Sept. 13, 2020, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The exercise was planned to test the reservists’ formation in a simulated deployment patrol.

Reservists from the 419th Security Forces Squadron posts at a barrier during an exercise Sept. 13, 2020, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

Reservists from the 419th Security Forces Squadron posts at a barrier during an exercise Sept. 13, 2020, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The reservists ran drills simulating a deployment’s entry control point. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Anthony Pham)

A reservist from the 419th Security Forces Squadron talks on the radio during an exercise Sept. 13, 2020, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

A reservist from the 419th Security Forces Squadron talks on the radio during an exercise Sept. 13, 2020, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The reservists played two factions, insurgents and security forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Anthony Pham)

A reservist from the 419th Security Forces Squadron posts in formation during an exercise Sept. 13, 2020, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

A reservist from the 419th Security Forces Squadron posts in formation during an exercise Sept. 13, 2020, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The exercise was planned to test the reservists’ formation in a simulated deployment patrol. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Anthony Pham)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah – As the first set of Airmen walked across the road to get back to base, an ambush awaited. Thinking quickly, they moved into a defensive position to return fire. After the firing stopped, the Airmen gathered to discuss what they did right and wrong.

This scene played out during a deployment exercise Sept. 13, 2020, where reservists from the 419th Security Forces Squadron practiced a deployment patrol just as they would during wartime.

To simulate a real-world scenario, various members acted as insurgents so the Airmen in training could get the practice they need for deployments

“I’ve never experienced an exercise like this,” said Senior Airman Storm Steadham, a new member with the 419th SFS, who has been with the unit less than a year and is awaiting formal training at technical school. “I want to be in this type of community of brothers that’s able to watch your back like this.” 

419th Services Flight personnel also participated in the training at the Base Operations and Readiness Training Area, assisting with search and recovery operations, as well as preparing and serving lunch in the field.

“Unfortunately, the Airmen are going to end up doing this in real life when deployed,” said Master Sgt. Travis Payne, NCO in charge of training for the SFS. “They did a great job and they’ll continue to improve with each exercise.”

The 419th Fighter Wing personnel are participating in a two-week exercise alongside the active duty 388th Fighter Wing and 75th Air Base Wing in an effort to simulate real-world deployment and to evaluate operational agility.