The 96th Ground Combat Training Squadron at Eglin AFB, Fla., will inactivate on June 6 as part of the Air Force’s continuing effort to consolidate regional training centers. “The consolidation is not a reaction to recent budget cuts,” said Maj. James Habeck, GCTS commander. “This is something the career field wanted to do to standardize, not just the curriculum, but also the training defenders get before they go downrange … They want to put it all under one roof.” Currently, security forces train at Creech AFB, Nev; Ft. Bliss, Texas; Ft. Wolters, Texas; Camp Guernsey, Wyo.; JB McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.; and Eglin. However, all the training centers will consolidate at Ft. Bliss this year, with the exception of Camp Guernsey, which specializes in security forces nuclear training, according to a May 27 release. The 96th GCTS will officially inactivate following the conclusion of its last Brave Defender class, which is being held July 5-24.
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.