Airmen learn quiet confidence of combat skills training
By Capt. Adam Weber, 90th Mission Support Group
/ Published September 21, 2007
F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo. -- In the words of actor John Wayne, "Talk low, talk slow and don't say too much."
He knew actions are much stronger than words, and the quiet confidence he portrayed became the Duke's signature characteristic. This quiet confidence is what the troops of Air Force Space Command's 90th Ground Combat Training Squadron at Camp Guernsey are trying to train Airmen on everyday.
"Quiet confidence is what we preach here," said Staff Sgt. Henry Munoz, 90th GCTS and expeditionary combat skills training course instructor. "Being able to stay calm during an attack, maintaining your composure and using your training to react instinctively will save your life and the lives of your fellow Airmen downrange."
Even though they're a part of the 90th Space Wing family, many people here don't even know the unit exists. It's about 100 miles north of Cheyenne near Guernsey, Wyo.
Green mountain tops and the view of the North Platte River open up to one of the largest military training ranges in the western United States.
The 90th GCTS objective is to provide a regional training center capable of providing training security courses at various levels of competency to develop and maintain elite, highly trained and professional nuclear and space security team members incorporating security forces, helicopter aircrews and missile maintainers.
Maj. Troy Carlson, 90th GCTS commander, and his group of instructors train nearly a dozen specialty courses in weapons and tactics centered on their primary mission of training nuclear security teams.
"We'll get a lot of security forces Airmen in here, and you can see their confidence in handling the weapons and driving the Humvees," said Master Sgt. Mark Owens, 90th GCTS Instructor. "It's the Airmen scheduled for AEFs that come here for basic Expeditionary Combat Skills Training who haven't touched a weapon in months or even years, and you can see the nervousness in their eyes. When we see those same Airmen leave here with the quiet confidence of weapon handling and being able to use the training provided, that makes our mission worthwhile."
Class 90th SW-AEF 10 arrived at the week long course July 29 and the students were impressed with the cadre and training they received.
"The cadre are outstanding instructors who are able to present a lot of information both in the classroom and in the field," said Staff Sgt. Tim Favreau, 90th Missile Maintenance Group. "It's the practical application during field exercises that the [information] is retained, making all of us much more confident going downrange."
Airman 1st Class William Klemmer, 90th MMXS, and Airman 1st Class Logan Parsons, 90th Logistics Readiness Squadron, will deploy for the first time with AEF 10. Both Airmen agree the CQB course instilled the quiet confidence taught by the 90th GCTS.
"I would deploy downrange with all of these Airmen," said Lt. Col. Paul Pidgeon, 90th LRS commander and squadron leader for the ECST class. "They were a great group who really came together as a team at Camp Guernsey. We all probably looked a little 'green' at first, but after that final day of training in the close battle quarters building, I could see the quiet confidence the cadre were teaching."