The 2,000th security forces airman recently graduated the Air Force Expeditionary Center’s specialized Phoenix Raven aircraft-protection course at JB McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. Trained to defend aircraft and crews on the ground in high-threat environments, Raven teams undergo two weeks of focused training including unarmed combat, explosives-detection, diplomatic-overwatch, and anti-hijacking tactics, among others. Since the Air Mobility Command course stood up in 1997, “we haven’t lost a single aircraft” over the course of thousands of missions “throughout the world,” said retired Col. Lawrence Lane, former AMC security forces director. He added, “We also haven’t had a single aircrew member killed or wounded” under the protection of a Raven team. The Phoenix Raven course gives security forces airmen the skills they need to help them make “level-headed decisions . . . in austere environments, under intense pressure,” said Lt. Col. Rhett Boldenow, 421st Combat Training Squadron commander. (McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst release)
As the U.S. continues to pursue a diplomatic resolution with Russia over its troop buildup on the Ukraine border, the Defense Department is looking into what capabilities it will need to reassure NATO allies if Russia does launch an invasion, its top spokesperson said Jan. 21.