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Ohio Guard Airmen Participate in Counter-Narcotics Training

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. John Wilkes,
  • 180th Fighter Wing Ohio National Guard

SWANTON, Ohio - Ohio Air National Guard Airmen assigned to the 180th Fighter Wing Security Forces Squadron took part in counter-narcotics training with the Defiance Police Department in March.

Airmen who participated in the class learned about various illegal drugs, how they can be concealed and methods of detection and identification. The training was targeted at security forces Airmen and the legal staff but was also open to leadership across the base.

“This training gives Airmen the experience and knowledge to recognize illegal drugs and some signs of illegal drug use,” said Tech. Sgt. Frank Herbert, a security forces technician with the 180FW. “Learning about these illegal substances helps enhance our capabilities and leads to improved processes, especially when screening vehicles at the base entrances.

“The training also gave some insight into how people react when under suspicion,” he said.

Airmen discussed identifying and detecting illegal substances such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamine and hallucinogens in communities surrounding the base.

They also reviewed resources available to law enforcement at the state and national level to enhance counter-narcotics capabilities.

Airmen with the 180FW Security Forces Squadron often work with law enforcement agencies such as the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. The 180FW also depends on the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement support on the installation.

“By partnering with local law enforcement, we extend our knowledge and information-sharing outside the base’s perimeter,” said Lt. Col. Diana Sluhan, commander of the 180FW Security Forces Squadron. “We have extra forces available to respond to emergencies, and we are good members in our local communities.”

Airmen with the 180FW live and work in surrounding communities throughout Northwest Ohio and beyond. Some Airmen even work as first responders in their civilian careers, enhancing civil-military partnerships.

“The training provided was much more in-depth than entry-level security forces training,” said Airman 1st Class Robert Baker, a security forces technician with the 180FW. “It went really well; I learned a lot of information that I can use in my job.”

The event was the first in-depth training in counter-narcotics for many of the Airmen at the 180FW.

“My hope is that these tactics, procedures and trends help keep the base and surrounding areas more secure,” said Mike Taylor, a drug task force agent with the Defiance Police Department and U.S. Army veteran.