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Puerto Rico Guard Airmen learn hand-to-hand combat skills

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Rafael Rosa,
  • 156th Wing

CAROLINA, Puerto Rico – Airmen with the 156th Contingency Response Group, 156th Combat Communications Squadron and the 156th Security Forces Squadron participated in the Air Force Combative Program.

The training was provided in March at Muñiz Air National Guard Base, Puerto Rico, by instructors from the 421st Combat Training Squadron and the 621st Contingency Response Squadron, Joint Base Mcguire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey.

During the 40-hour course, 22 participants learned the basics of becoming a combatives instructor in a standing module, a ground module and the Air Force combatives history module.

Airmen were taught everything from throwing a strike to taking an opponent down to doing various ground grappling and submission techniques.

The physically demanding course enhances self-defense and combat readiness skills to be used in domestic or deployed environments or surprise scenarios where the only option is to defend yourself.

During close-quarters, hand-to-hand combat, knowing how to handle the engagement can mean the difference between life and death.

“Once these Airmen graduate, they’ll be able to conduct basic combatives training for anyone in the unit or anyone on base as far as lifesaving, self-protection assets,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Zachery Jezewski, a senior combatives instructor with the 421st Combat Training Squadron, Joint Base Mcguire-Dix-Lakehurst.

With this new skill set, the Air Force combatives instructors, all from different sections of the 156th Wing, can pass down their knowledge to other Airmen and assist in developing an always-ready fighting force.

“Now that we’re focused on having multi-capable Airmen and a mindset geared towards agile combat and employment initiatives, it’s very important that we prepare our Airmen to be multi-capable,” said Master Sgt. Jose Fontanez, senior enlisted leader for the 156th Security Operations Squadron. “Having them take the combatives instructor course will enable and enhance our capabilities to train every Airman to meet those requirements.”