Drills make sure all airmen are READY to fortify Kunsan
August 26, 2005
PYONGTAEK, South Korea — Because he’s a finance clerk at Kunsan Air Base, a normal day for Staff Sgt. Timothy Carlsrud is sitting at a desk and helping airmen through the rigors of allotments, tax forms and direct-deposit accounts.
So it was quite a change for Carlsrud recently when the 8th Fighter Wing told him to show up for training in how to help Air Force police defend the base from attack.
The job of defending the base is the responsibility of the wing’s Air Force police unit, the 8th Security Forces Squadron.
But if they were facing a big enough threat to the base’s security — a large, violent civil disturbance or a wartime ground attack, for example — they might need extra troops from other units to form a backup force.
So wing officials make a point of having at least 150 such backups trained and ready for call-up at any given time.
“Most units on base are expected to provide bodies for the augmentee program if they’re available, so lots of organizations look to see if they have anyone available and will send those people,” said wing spokesman Capt. Richard Komurek.
The training is not unique to the 8th Fighter Wing; other Air Force units also train augmentees for base defense duty, said Staff Sgt. Fred Medina of the 8th Security Forces Squadron.
It’s called Resource Augmentation Duty, or READY, and 8th Security Forces Squadron members hold a training session each month at the base, Medina said.
If wing officials want to activate the READY force, the 8th Security Forces Squadron’s “monitors” contact their squadron counterparts, and “let ’em know we need however many bodies [and] give them a place to show up at,” said Medina, one of the squadron’s READY instructors.
The most recent training session was Aug. 15-19 with 21 airmen, including Carlsrud, a customer service technician with the 8th Comptroller Squadron.
They learned how to search and handcuff prisoners and use tactical radios and were briefed on Air Force policies covering use of deadly force. They were taught rules of engagement, proper treatment of enemy prisoners of war and combat skills such as moving under fire individually or by teams.
Among the things Carlsrud learned was the “rush-and-roll,” a method of dashing forward in combat.
“It’s basically when you’ll run toward an objective and after three seconds you’ll drop … into the prone position so that you’re only exposed for a short period of time,” Carlsrud said.
The base defense training was plenty different from answering questions about finance, he said.
“Basically it just takes you out of your comfort area, of your primary job,” he said.
The sudden crossover into base defense can pose some short-term culture shock, Medina said.
“There is a difference, a slight difference,” he said. “With Security Forces, they already have a general idea of air base defense mission. With READYs it’s something they’ve never done before, most of them. So we break it down … step-by-step how we’re going to do that, just to give them the basic concept of what’s going to happen if we ever have to do it for real.
“Once we break down the situation for them and say, ‘This is what you’ve got,’” Medina said, “they get on the ball.”