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Eielson Defenders bring new capabilities through federal accreditations

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Beaux Hebert
  • 354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Newly appointed Air Advisors, Crisis Negotiators and Special Reaction Team (SRT) Defenders from the 354th Security Forces Squadron were recognized by their squadron leadership Jan. 7, 2022 at a ceremony on Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska.

“Today we are recognizing our recent graduates of a federally-certified crisis negotiations course, federally certified SRT course and our new air advisors,” said 1st Lt. Adam Paini, the 354th SFS Contingency Operations officer in charge.

Air advisors work with partner nations to develop their aviation enterprises using the skills they already have as an Airman. Air advisors are trained to do five core functions: assess, train, advise, assist and equip. Eielson’s Air Advisor Defenders will be crucial when integrating with partner nations during Agile Combat Employment (ACE) situations.

Crisis Negotiators are security forces Defenders trained to successfully negotiate with emotionally distraught or deranged individuals. These Defenders have practiced and learned how to react to highly volatile situations, making every effort to use what they've learned to resolve the situations peacefully. This is a crucial asset to Eielson due to the harsh Alaskan weather and increased darkness contributing to mental health problems for some Airmen.

An SRT is the military version of civilian law enforcement’s special weapons and tactics (SWAT). They are dedicated to the preservation of life and property during critical incidents and high-risk operations. They are called upon to respond for service of high-risk search and arrests; incidents involving barricaded suspects, hostage rescues, or active shooters; crowd control; and other situations requiring resources beyond the capacity of the normal operations.

“This course has helped me become a better Defender,” said Airman 1st Class Wyatt Wilsey, an SRT course graduate. “The tactics and capabilities I learned there make me a more lethal and capable defender. I also look forward to passing on this knowledge to the rest of the squadron to help us all become better.”

With the addition of these security forces assets, Eielson’s lethality and readiness increases tremendously. 

“These newly trained Airmen bring capabilities that we’ve never had before,” Paini said. “Defenders receive a decent amount of training for crisis response and high-risk events but very little specialized training. We were able to give these Airmen an opportunity to step outside the normal routine and receive training from different military branches and civilian departments which allows us to be more capable than a typical security forces unit when faced with those unique situations.”

Looking towards the future, the 354th SFS is going to offer more of these opportunities to their Airmen to continue to build up Eielson’s lethality and readiness.

“This is only the first iteration of getting Airmen certified. We want to continue to give these opportunities to all our Airmen and integrate the training they learned into our daily battle rhythm.” Paini said.