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97th SFS: exceeding ‘The Standard’

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kayla Christenson
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Members of the 97th Security Forces Squadron participated in the first iteration of “The Standard”, Oct. 5-7, 2021, a new semi-annual training exercise to build up defenders’ skills and knowledge through teamwork and wingmanship.

Each day focused on a different skill or lesson for the defenders.

“As security forces members, we have a multifaceted job. We have to secure the base, protect the base assets and maintain security within the base,” said 2nd Lt. Nikolas Jones, 97th SFS flight commander. “It is important to understand why we do our job and to make sure we are ready for anything that comes our way here or at a deployed location.”

On the first day, named “Assist”, Airmen teamed up with the City of Altus Parks Department at Hoyt Shadid Park to paint benches and covers.

“Day one was a volunteer opportunity to inspire our defenders to work with the community,” said Jones. “The tie between active-duty (Airmen) and the Altus community is important to the base and our mission.”

The second day, titled “Protect” provided the defenders with a deeper understanding of the “why” of their job and how it is important to the mission by doing a formation run around the base, stopping at specific points they protect like the flightline and Rivers Elementary.

“Commanders from around the base shared our impact to the mission as defenders and law enforcement,” said Jones. “For example, one commander spoke on how defenders get aircraft in the air by helping the command post and providing flight line security.”

The third day, “Defend”, reminded Airmen of how their physical fitness is key in order to ensure the safety of the base. The defenders practiced their physical and mental toughness through a series of events like a warrior run, ammo can races, pull-ups, calisthenics, and memorization of Security Forces history.

“Being fit to fight really is the main goal of The Standard where we can push past our mental and physical boundaries and come together as a team to show that grit and determination to get the mission accomplished,” said Jones.

Airman 1st Class Luis Ramirez, 97th SFS installation entry controller, participated in all three days of the event.

“It took a lot of mental strength,” said Ramirez. “There were many times I wanted to give up and it was stressful but in the end, I felt more motivated and pushed to give it my all.”

The 97th SFS plans on continuing this type of training for years to come, completing it twice a year in order to build upon defenders’ skills and knowledge.