Nuclear surety’s secret weapon

http://www.armedforces.com/nuclear-surety%E2%80%99s-secret-weapon/

Nuclear surety’s secret weapon

by Senior Airman Jessica McConnell Minot Air Force Base

Public Affairs2/3/2012 – MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. —

Airmen from the 5th Security Forces Squadron and 91st Security Forces Group competed for a position on Minot Air Force Base’s 91st Security Forces Group Tactical Response Force Team Jan. 25.

“The Tactical Response Force is a nuclear special weapons and tactics team specializing in recapture and recovery operations,” said Capt. Neil Colvin, 91st SFG TRF commander. “TRF members go through an extensive amount of unique training and are expected to perform flawlessly in whatever scenario thrown their way.”

Sometimes, TRF members are the first ones in the area, so they have to know how to handle the situation until more forces arrive, he said.

“It takes a lot of practice to get to that level – so it is our responsibility to see if they have the potential to mentally and physically meet that standard,” Colvin said.

“The tryout gives us a snapshot of the individual. They’ll make mistakes and we want to see how they recover. Furthermore, these are members that thrive in their area of nuclear security, as they are screened by leadership before they can even try out.”

Colvin said the primary reason the TRF gets activated is to be used as a backup force or a larger security force in the immediate area during a security incident.

At Minot, security forces members face more strenuous demands because of the nuclear security mission, said Colvin.

“There is no such thing as regular security forces at this base, either on the 5th side or 91st side,” he said. “Nuclear security demands expertise from all security forces members. Look how many inspections occur and the high number of distinguished visitors touring the base. There is nothing ordinary about it.”

Colvin said the TRF is very different from non-nuclear security forces in that TRF operations require extensive planning, thorough understanding of the threat, a well-organized and disciplined organizational structure, and exceptionally honed tactical skills to fulfill the nuclear mission.

“Our members are trained in the execution of small unit tactics, close quarters battle, marksmanship, rappelling and breaching operations,” he said. “We are a nuclear SWAT team supplementing in field forces and convoy operations with a rapid response capability thanks in part to the 54th Helicopter Squadron.”

Colvin said there are numerous benefits to being in the TRF, such as flying around the missile complex in helos, attending breacher and advanced designated marksmen schools, as well as rappelling.

“The exposure to these areas of training allows our young Airmen to become subject matter experts,” he said. “Many Airmen may not be familiar with the TRF, but those Airmen that are know how it feels to be part of something great.”

Airman 1st Class Isai Reyes, 91st MW TRF member says he was stationed at Minot only a few weeks before he heard about the TRF. “The thought of joining a ‘nuclear SWAT team’ really caught my eye. I wanted to be part of a team that was both physically and mentally challenging.”

“I like being part of the TRF for many reasons,” said Tech. Sgt. Andrew Shone, 91st MW TRF member. “The capabilities provided are unique to the security forces career field. Breaching aspects and sharpshooter techniques are vital assets to assist the whole security contingent to ensure the missile wing commander’s intent is met.”

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. – Security forces members simulate clearing a room here Jan 18. Five individuals participated in the 91st Missile Security Squadron Tactical Response Force tryouts. The tryouts consisted of running, push-ups, sit-ups and tactical maneuvers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ashley N. Avecilla)
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