Archive | November, 2011


23 Nov


9 Sept 2011, marks the 1st AF Times press release review regarding Tactical Response Force research projects created by Ty Colvin CSCS, MS, ATC/L, DAT Resident.

With the support of DVIDS, it is now a story that promotes human performance initiatives worldwide.

The response has been very positive.  I am very thankful to help advocate for US military members.  We hope other clinicians find value in understanding specialized physical demands with elite level occupations of the US military.  A significant goal for me was to create the initial preventative best-practices dialog that could translate beyond our military base to civilian healthcare practitioners.  It is often challenging to promote communication when AD work on base, but most civilian practitioners require the member to travel off-base for specialized consultations.  The outstanding coordinated approach from the TRF, 91st, and 5th have been wonderful.  It is a team effort that everyone can be proud of.



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Warfighter Improvement Continues

23 Nov

Warfighter improvement continues

by Senior Airman Ashley N. Avecilla

Minot Air Force Base Public Affairs

11/22/2011 – MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. — The 91st Security Forces Group’s tactical response force has continued its ongoing effort of physical assessments designed to help their Airmen maintain full capability of their bodies throughout their Air Force careers.

Recently, Ty Colvin, certified strength and conditioning specialist and licensed athletic trainer, spent time with Senior Airman Luis Velasquez, 91st SFG TRF member, with the goal of establishing breacher baseline scores.

The TRF breacher is a unique member of a specialized nuclear security team responsible for breaking down entrances during the initial phases of clearing procedures. They face extreme cold temperatures, high elevation, and often travel via UH-1N helicopters for elite level capabilities of their specialized teams.

Knowing physical capabilities specific to Minot’s TRF breacher helps to balance team safety with mission response. A candidate who tries out often makes the mistake of thinking a single successful breach is all that is needed, but they fail to recognize the bigger picture.

Velasquez is a veteran breacher who understands the bigger picture.

“It is critical to understand a breacher should train both their strong and weak side,” Velasquez said. “In an emergency situation, you want to have a fully specialized breacher – this means a breacher who knows each time he or she has to re-attempt entry, the team loses the element of surprise. If we do this exercise, the breacher can better gauge his capability to respond. One of the questions our doctoral researcher wants to learn more about is how action research studies can help support warfighter capabilities.”

The doctoral research aims to promote the breacher by encouraging new approaches through action research studies.

“For example, one of my most experienced breachers has been doing this for the past three years, so my concern is how do we support him so he can sustain this momentum for the remaining years of his Air Force career?” said Capt. Neil Colvin, 91st SFG TRF commander.

“Most Airmen talk about all the heavy gear they wear while they are deployed,” Colvin continued. “They are glad when their deployment is over and they no longer have to carry all the gear. In that respect, security forces, TRF in particular, never get that recovery time.”

Colvin said security forces members use the same gear whether they are deployed or not.

“If the DAT research yields baseline scores, we could more easily pre-identify personnel with specialized physical capacities, but most importantly, we could optimize our veteran breachers,” said Colvin. “We are looking at ways to maximize performance as well as longevity through the DAT research with the University of Idaho, Moscow,” said Colvin.

While every Airman has specific physical standards to meet to maintain eligibility in the Air Force, some military occupations, including TRF, require a much higher level of physical demand. The goals of this research here is to create this new area for elite nuclear security human performance.

“In the Air Force, we use baseline scores for performing physical training testing,” said Master Sgt. Duke McDuffie, 91st SFG TRF member. “Here, we are applying the same principles to breaching in the nuclear security sector, which hasn’t been done before.”

Ty Colvin looks at functional movement screening to find out what movement patter trends are common among nuclear security breachers.

“Although it is early, we are noticing significant trends in highly specialized occupations with the 91st SFG TRF,” said Colvin. “While much of their military formalized training can teach proper mechanics or technique, the FMS model allows a clinician to predict better stability, mobility, and acquisition with repetitive rotary motions or explosive transitions from low to high.”

The key is to understand which patterns a breacher will teach their brain to remember. These functional trends to physically prepare and screen their bodies can be used to maintain enhanced capabilities for elite performance optimization. The TRF population isn’t breaking down doors in the middle-east – instead they stay in Garrison, N.D.

Minot’s climate is unique to the nuclear sector. In just the past year, North Dakota has made headlines with extreme flooding. These environmental extremes create a lot of research variables that weigh into how well nuclear security can learn to adapt.

Since this base is the first to study the TRF breacher in a nuclear security setting, this research could determine expectations for many high-profile breacher or even other protective services to function well in adversity. This could help set breacher standards worldwide.

Although Minot is the smallest of the three nuclear TRF bases, members are learning brand new ways to enhance the mission.



MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. — Members of the 91st Security Forces Group tactical response team, engage in exercise clearing scenarios here Nov. 3. TRF is one of the most physically demanding jobs that security forces personnel can be a part of here. The 91st SFG has continued its ongoing effort of physical assessments designed to help their Airmen maintain full capability of their bodies throughout their Air Force careers. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Ashley N. Avecilla)

























Warfighter improvement continues.


Study finds AD often tend to focus less on pain.

21 Nov


Rewiring the Brain to Ease Pain video link

Rewiring the Brain to Ease Pain

Brain Scans Fuel Efforts to Teach Patients How to Short-Circuit Hurtful Signals

In studies at Stanford University's Neuroscience and Pain Lab, subjects can watch their own brains react to pain in real-time and learn to control their response—much like building up a muscle. When subjects focused on something distracting instead of the pain, they had more activity in the higher-thinking parts of their brains. When they "re-evaluated" their pain emotionally—"Yes, my back hurts, but I won't let that stop me"—they had more activity in the deep brain structures that process emotion. Either way, they were able to ease their own pain significantly, according to a study in the journal Anesthesiology last month.

While some of these therapies have been used successfully for years, “we are only now starting to understand the brain basis of how they work, and how they work differently from each other,” says Sean Mackey, chief of the division of pain management at Stanford.

He and his colleagues were just awarded a $9 million grant to study mind-based therapies for chronic low back pain from the government’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM).

Some 116 million American adults—one-third of the population—struggle with chronic pain, and many are inadequately treated, according to a report by the Institute of Medicine in July.  Yet abuse of pain medication is rampant. Annual deaths due to overdoses of painkillers quadrupled, to 14,800, between 1998 and 2008, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The painkiller Vicodin is now the most prescribed drug in the U.S.  “There is a growing recognition that drugs are only part of the solution and that people who live with chronic pain have to develop a strategy that calls upon some inner resources,” says Josephine Briggs, director of NCCAM, which has funded much of the research into alternative approaches to pain relief.


Already, neuroscientists know that how people perceive pain is highly individual, involving heredity, stress, anxiety, fear, depression, previous experience and general health.

Motivation also plays a huge role—and helps explain why a gravely wounded soldier can ignore his own pain to save his buddies while someone who is depressed may feel incapacitated by a minor sprain.


91st MW wins big at GSC

10 Nov

91st MW wins big at GSC.

Richard Ste. Croix is featured as a top performer during the Global Strike Challenge.  He is also important to the TRF Residency with UIDAHO as a focus group leader.  He is currently a NSCA Associate Member, is ISSA CPT & SFN certified, and studying Health Science.