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137th SOW security forces participate in Oklahoma County Sheriff SWAT training

Senior Airman Michael Ragland, a security forces Airman with the 137th Special Operations Security Forces Squadron in Oklahoma City, returns fire as he and Airman 1st Class Harley Jones, also a security forces Airman with the 137th SOSFS, work to advance through a course during an active shooter training scenario for SWAT training conducted by the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office in Oklahoma City on Nov. 5, 2019. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Brigette Waltermire)

Senior Airman Michael Ragland, a security forces Airman with the 137th Special Operations Security Forces Squadron in Oklahoma City, returns fire as he and Airman 1st Class Harley Jones, also a security forces Airman with the 137th SOSFS, work to advance through a course during an active shooter training scenario for SWAT training conducted by the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office in Oklahoma City on Nov. 5, 2019. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Brigette Waltermire)

Ian Naylord, a SWAT team member with the Ardmore Police Department in Ardmore, Okla., works with Ardmore PD SWAT teammate Jared Johnson and a member of the 137th Special Operations Security Forces Squadron to tactically advance past a window during an active shooter scenario at SWAT training with the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office in Oklahoma City on Nov. 7, 2019. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Brigette Waltermire)

Ian Naylord, a SWAT team member with the Ardmore Police Department in Ardmore, Okla., works with Ardmore PD SWAT teammate Jared Johnson and a member of the 137th Special Operations Security Forces Squadron to tactically advance past a window during an active shooter scenario at SWAT training with the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office in Oklahoma City on Nov. 7, 2019. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Brigette Waltermire)

Airman 1st Class Harley Jones, a security forces Airman with the 137th Special Operations Security Forces Squadron from Oklahoma City, holds his weapon on a simulated hostage-taker as he issues verbal commands for surrender during SWAT training conducted by the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office in Oklahoma City on Nov. 5, 2019. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Brigette Waltermire)

Airman 1st Class Harley Jones, a security forces Airman with the 137th Special Operations Security Forces Squadron from Oklahoma City, holds his weapon on a simulated hostage-taker as he issues verbal commands for surrender during SWAT training conducted by the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office in Oklahoma City on Nov. 5, 2019. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Brigette Waltermire)

Ian Naylord, a SWAT team member of the Ardmore Police Department from Ardmore, Okla., checks around the corner of a building as he and a line of 137th Special Operations Wing Airmen and fellow Ardmore PD teammates prepareto tactically advance through an open area during an active shooter scenario for SWAT training conducted by the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office in Oklahoma City on Nov. 7, 2019. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Brigette Waltermire)

Ian Naylord, a SWAT team member of the Ardmore Police Department from Ardmore, Okla., checks around the corner of a building as he and a line of 137th Special Operations Wing Airmen and fellow Ardmore PD teammates prepareto tactically advance through an open area during an active shooter scenario for SWAT training conducted by the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office in Oklahoma City on Nov. 7, 2019. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Brigette Waltermire)

Four participants in SWAT training conducted by the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office slowly work to clear a dormitory rooms in a hallway while looking for an instructor who is acting as an armed threat at Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Okla., on Nov. 5, 2019. The two SWAT team members from Ardmore Police Department in Ardmore, Okla., secured the hallway as two members of the 137th Special Operations Security Forces Squadron approach a doorway. 



Nick Deniwellis (lower left), of Ardmore SWAT, crouches in front of Jared Johnson, also with Ardmore SWAT, as both hold the hallway for Staff Sgt. James Lunsford (right), with the 137th SOSFS, and Senior Airman Michael Ragland (center), with the 137th SOSFS, as they approach an unsecured doorway. This was Ragland’s first time in SWAT training, and he is working in a career field close to his heart: His grandfather was a highway patrolman in North Carolina for 8 years and was inspired to join this career field when he came into the military because of his grandfather. Additionally, Johnson was a Marine Corps infantryman before leaving the military and becoming a K-9 officer with the same department his dad retired from as a captain after 22 years of service in Ardmore. Both Ragland and Johnson bonded over that shared experience of joining a career field inspired by their family members who served in law enforcement. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Brigette Waltermire)

Four participants in SWAT training conducted by the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office slowly work to clear a dormitory rooms in a hallway while looking for an instructor who is acting as an armed threat at Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Okla., on Nov. 5, 2019. The two SWAT team members from Ardmore Police Department in Ardmore, Okla., secured the hallway as two members of the 137th Special Operations Security Forces Squadron approach a doorway. Nick Deniwellis (lower left), of Ardmore SWAT, crouches in front of Jared Johnson, also with Ardmore SWAT, as both hold the hallway for Staff Sgt. James Lunsford (right), with the 137th SOSFS, and Senior Airman Michael Ragland (center), with the 137th SOSFS, as they approach an unsecured doorway. This was Ragland’s first time in SWAT training, and he is working in a career field close to his heart: His grandfather was a highway patrolman in North Carolina for 8 years and was inspired to join this career field when he came into the military because of his grandfather. Additionally, Johnson was a Marine Corps infantryman before leaving the military and becoming a K-9 officer with the same department his dad retired from as a captain after 22 years of service in Ardmore. Both Ragland and Johnson bonded over that shared experience of joining a career field inspired by their family members who served in law enforcement. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Brigette Waltermire)

Staff Sgt. James Lunsford (left), with the 137th SOSFS, and Jared Johnson (right), with Ardmore SWAT, tactically clear a stairwell during SWAT training conducted by the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office at Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Okla., on Nov. 5, 2019. Johnson, a former Marine Corps infantryman, became a K-9 officer with Ardmore Police Department in 2015 and has worked with the department ever since. Lunsford and Johnson spoke over the course of the training about Johnson’s experiences in that field because Lunsford was in the process of applying to the Oklahoma City Police Department to also become a K-9 handler. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Brigette Waltermire)

Staff Sgt. James Lunsford (left), with the 137th SOSFS, and Jared Johnson (right), with Ardmore SWAT, tactically clear a stairwell during SWAT training conducted by the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office at Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Okla., on Nov. 5, 2019. Johnson, a former Marine Corps infantryman, became a K-9 officer with Ardmore Police Department in 2015 and has worked with the department ever since. Lunsford and Johnson spoke over the course of the training about Johnson’s experiences in that field because Lunsford was in the process of applying to the Oklahoma City Police Department to also become a K-9 handler. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Brigette Waltermire)

A team of Ardmore Police Department SWAT members and 137th Special Operations Security Forces Squadron Airmen use the end of a building as protection while they simulate engagement with a possible suspect with a gun during SWAT training conducted by the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office at the OCSO training range in Spencer, Okla., Nov. 4, 2019. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Brigette Waltermire)

A team of Ardmore Police Department SWAT members and 137th Special Operations Security Forces Squadron Airmen use the end of a building as protection while they simulate engagement with a possible suspect with a gun during SWAT training conducted by the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office at the OCSO training range in Spencer, Okla., Nov. 4, 2019. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Brigette Waltermire)

OKLAHOMA CITY --

Six members of the Oklahoma Air National Guard participated in SWAT training with the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office in and around Oklahoma City, Monday through Friday, from Oct. 28–Nov. 8, 2019.

Each year for the past six years, the 137th Special Operations Security Forces Squadron has taken the opportunity to participate in special weapons and tactics training with local law enforcement agencies within Oklahoma County. It is not a required readiness or training item for anyone in the squadron, but that makes the training itself more valuable for the members who participate.

“This was really cool and probably some of the best hands-on training of my military career so far,” said Airman 1st Class Harley Jones, a member of the 137th SOSFS. “Until now in my military career, the only training I’ve had was in tech school or on-the-job training, so I learned a lot during this course that I didn’t know about – especially things like applying tourniquets and the other medical stuff.”

The ten-day training was a challenge for the members, as none of them had ever done any kind of SWAT training before this experience.

“Our Airmen are learning many new tactics, techniques and procedures that will allow them to integrate with local law enforcement in the event that an incident occurs on base,” said Lt. Col. Matthew Emerson, commander of the 137th SOSFS. “This training fosters ongoing partnerships with Oklahoma County and helps form cohesive teams that are better prepared to work together.”

Incidents like an active shooter can occur on a military base, and the security forces members must be able to work with local law enforcement who will come to the base to aid in those kinds of emergencies. This training is necessary if these counterparts are to come together and work as a team when they are in an emergency situation that doesn’t allow time for practice.

“We incorporate the extra skills gained at OCSO SWAT school into our training, which drastically increases our operational and response capabilities for real-world tactical responses on base, and also allows us to build interagency relationships,” said Tech. Sgt. Lucas Wagner, training manager for the 137th SOSFS.

For the first five days, the SFS members spent time in the classroom learning tactical skills through firearms drills, several different entry methods for buildings and rooms, vehicle assaults, use of ballistic shields, use of stun grenades as diversionary devices, breaching, officer down drills, use of night vision, and use of pepper spray and impact munitions like less-than-lethal bean bag rounds.

In the second week, the six SFS participants worked in a team of nine with three SWAT team members from the Ardmore Police Department – practicing what they had learned using their tactical gear and simulating ammunition in their weapons during training scenarios conducted at course sites throughout the Oklahoma City metro.

“I feel more confident, and I learned a lot working on a team with other policemen,” said Jones. “At one point, I was kind of getting a technique wrong, and one of the guys from Ardmore took time to correct me and show me how to do it. Now I feel like now I have more skills I can use to have my wingman’s back on the job.”

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