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Integrated Defense Leadership Course: Security Forces Reservists accelerate readiness during intensive training

The beta Integrated Defense Leadership Course was held May 10–24, at Youngstown Air Reserve Station and Camp James A. Garfield, Ohio, to provide Defenders hands-on combat readiness training.

The Air Force Reserve Command’s beta Integrated Defense Learning Course class poses for a photo, May 23, 2021, at Camp James A. Garfield, Ohio, upon completion of the course’s capstone training scenario. The IDLC was held May 10–24, at Youngstown Air Reserve Station, Ohio, and CJAG. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Noah J. Tancer)

The beta Integrated Defense Leadership Course was held May 10–24, at Youngstown Air Reserve Station and Camp James A. Garfield, Ohio, to provide Defenders hands-on combat readiness training.

Staff Sgt. Jacob Williams, a fireteam member assigned to the 908th Security Forces Squadron, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, watches his quick response team’s back as they cross a creek back to the defensive line, May 23, 2021, at Camp James A. Garfield, Ohio. The training scenario was the capstone of the Air Force Reserve Command’s beta Integrated Defense Learning Course, held May 10–24, at CJAG and Youngstown Air Reserve Station, Ohio. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Noah J. Tancer)

The beta Integrated Defense Leadership Course was held May 10–24, at Youngstown Air Reserve Station and Camp James A. Garfield, Ohio, to provide Defenders hands-on combat readiness training.

Fireteam members assigned to the 910th, 908th and 403rd Security Forces Squadrons denote troop placement and their respective area of responsibility on a sector sketch, May 23, 2021, at Camp James A. Garfield, Ohio. The training scenario was the capstone of the Air Force Reserve Command’s beta Integrated Defense Learning Course, held May 10–24, at CJAG and Youngstown Air Reserve Station, Ohio. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Noah J. Tancer)

The beta Integrated Defense Leadership Course was held May 10–24, at Youngstown Air Reserve Station and Camp James A. Garfield, Ohio, to provide Defenders hands-on combat readiness training.

Master Sgt. Jason Knepper, Air Force Reserve Command security forces training manager, debriefs a group of security forces Airmen from across Air Force Reserve Command at the beta Integrated Defense Leadership Course, May 20, 2021, at Camp James A. Garfield, Ohio. The students had just completed a scenario in the live-fire training facility using dye-marker rounds. Security forces members from multiple units across AFRC participated in the two-week IDLC, held May 10-24 at CJAG and Youngstown Air Reserve Station, Ohio. The IDLC was designed to provide Reserve defenders with intensely focused hands-on training to achieve and maintain combat-readiness. (U.S. Air Force photo/Eric M. White)

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --

Sixty eight Reserve Citizen Airmen converged on Camp James A. Garfield and Youngstown Air Reserve Station, Ohio, in late May to take part in Air Force Reserve Command’s initial Integrated Defense Leadership Course.

The two-week-long IDLC is designed to provide Reserve defenders with intensely focused hands-on training to achieve and maintain combat readiness. The course fits squarely within AFRC’s strategic priority of prioritizing strategic depth and accelerating readiness, and was planned and executed completely by AFRC personnel with enthusiastic support from the command’s leadership.

“Just in the past 12 days, we’ve gone over lead tactical squad movements, close quarter battle and integrated defense – items we can’t cover over a drill weekend,” said Tech. Sgt. Nathan Ellcessor, a traditional Reservist assigned to the 445th Security Forces Squadron, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Ellcessor, like the other instructors, was selected as a part of the cadre of instructors based upon his skill set and helped craft the course for six weeks prior to the students’ arrival.

“By Air Force Instruction, we are supposed to train 218 hours annually on our core skill set,” said Master Sgt. Jason Knepper, AFRC’s security forces training manager. “There aren’t enough hours in the Reserve days to accomplish that. On top of that, there aren’t the proper resources, locations and subject matter experts available at each Reserve location. Our units don’t really have the ability to meet all of our training requirements, so a centralized training course like this is crucial to maintain our warfighter readiness.”

During the course, students were provided practical application of 51 training items from their Air Force Specialty Code Career Field Education and Training Plans over 190 hours of field instruction.

While training the students on traditional defender skills, the cadre also trained traditional Reservists from the 720th Security Forces Squadron, Davis Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, in performing as a professional opposition force. These students were trained to design scenarios, role play as hostile and non-hostile personnel, and provide feedback to students based upon performance. Their performance as an opposition force provided a crucial training benefit to the traditional defender students.

Knepper said the course was a real eye-opener for some of the young defenders in attendance.

“For some of our younger troops, this is their first TDY,” he said. “In their eyes, security forces sit in towers and check ID cards. They don’t understand the ground combat application that’s a critical part of our career field.”

“This experience has been very beneficial to me,” said Airman First Class Arial Thierry, a fire team member assigned to the 403rd Security Forces Squadron, Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. “You want to know exactly what your job is, and this program did that for me. I’ve gained a lot of knowledge from some brilliant instructors out here. Now I want to take that knowledge back home and teach a lot of my fellow Airmen the information I learned here.”

Check out the video on the IDLC at https://www.afrc.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2638425/beta-integrated-defense-leadership-course-video/. #ReserveReady #ReserveReform