Members of the 920th Mission Support Group participate in tactical field training at Avon Park Air Force Range
The 920th Security Forces Squadron has had all Airmen complete field courses
AVON PARK AIR FORCE RANGE, FL – A desolate airfield came to life as 122 members of the 920th Mission Support Group received partial field tactics skills training during an exercise at Avon Park Air Force Range Feb. 4.
The field courses were part of the Wing’s Exercise Fury Horizon 22 and were designed to observe how 920th MSG Airmen would respond to threats by presenting real-life problems in a controlled environment.
“MSG has moved out of their normal career fields and into multi-functional airmen; that’s what we focused on. There is no written training for logistical readiness or force support that says we have to go into the field; So instead of it being their first time deploying this exercise, they created an environment to learn with their peers,” said Lt. Col. Sarah Scaglione, 920th MSG commander.
Before departing Space Force Base Patrick, Airmen were routed through a deployment processing chain where they were issued weapons, A-bags and body armor. Once on site at Avon Park Air Force Range, the expectation was to obtain responsibility for personnel and equipment and proceed with setting up a bare base while undergoing combat training.
The 920th Security Forces Squadron put all Airmen through field courses, including radio procedures, salute reporting, troop movement in contested areas, and land orientation/navigation. After sunset came the establishment of camp security, a meal of ready-to-eat rations, and the setting up of bivouacs scattered across the field.
The setting was perfect for continuous training with night vision goggles and nighttime tactical considerations for safety and protection with zero lighting and intense darkness due to cloud cover.
“The training helped to practice and understand the content of the Airman’s Manual. It brought everyone back to the basics of being placed in an austere environment and what to expect when establishing a base,” said Major Tracy Arnold, camp commander.
A picket rotation was established by the squads in advance. Firewatch is a sentry duty that monitors a military encampment and sounds the alarm in case of an attack. Throughout the evening, a new group of individuals showed up at the Base Defense Operations Center to relieve the previous crew. Every member in the field participated in fire watch to supplement the security forces; many who experienced this for the first time.
In the early morning, the camp was attacked by an opposing force which was held back by those securing the perimeter, many of whom were newly trained reinforcements watching the fires the day before.
At the start of the rescue portion of the event, troops marched 1.5 miles in darkness to a hangar that was established by communication with a command post as a pick-up location for airmen.
HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters from the 301st Rescue Squadron arrived with pararescuemen to help simulate injuries and casualties and to prepare the group for the extraction.
They quickly took over and began treating and loading patients into helicopters. Operations staff and support staff worked together to accomplish their mission of evacuating injured personnel, once again establishing new skills and an understanding of each other’s roles.
“At the end of the day, not everyone will be comfortable going into the field, but having this training, as well as working with operations and seeing how all the different pieces fit together, allows us to see where people are crucial and necessary in the fight. said Maj Arnold.
The 920th Mission Support Group oversees mission sustainment functions, including the Force Support Squadron, Logistics Readiness Squadron, Communications Flight, and two Security Forces Squadrons.