At Fairchild AFB, Wash., all airmen shipping out for deployment in 2006 will undergo a combat skills training course that lasts four days—much more than the basic Air Force requirement of 19 hours, says Fairchild officials. Everyone—from airman to colonel—will get this training if they are deploying to Afghanistan or Iraq. And, officials say, the Air Force may extend the training to all airmen. “All airmen have a role in the defense of the base, themselves, and others,” states Maj. Philip Holmes, 92nd Security Forces Squadron commander at Fairchild.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.