KAFB Defenders conduct active shooter exercise

  • Published
  • By SSgt Enrique Barcelo
  • 377 ABW PA

The 377th Weapons Systems Security Squadron (WSSS) hosted an active shooter exercise on Feb. 24, 2021, at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. The exercise is part of an ongoing series designed to test the members of the WSSS in different tactical scenarios.

Christopher Batta, 377th Security Forces Group chief of training, who oversees all aspects for exercises for both troops and instructors, spoke about the training.

“My job is to prepare troops to survive in any number of situations,” said Batta. “Practice makes perfect. This is a perishable skill and needs to be executed to a high performance standard.”

The training took place on Kirtland at Sandia Base Elementary School, which was empty due to distance learning. The vacant school provided the opportunity for WSSS defenders to train in an unfamiliar territory.

“For this type of training, using buildings that are unfamiliar to the responders creates an environment that is more realistic,” said Tech. Sgt. Andrew Williamson, 377th WSSS non-commissioned officer. “Less knowledge on the building also provides them the opportunity to use critical thinking during the exercise. Our goal is to get them the training that they need and also give them the chance to learn the building layout so that they become familiar with it.”

Williamson also went on to say that unfamiliarity teaches the value of communication, fundamentals and tactics as well as making them familiar with the facility, should they ever have to respond to that location.

When done well, the Airmen and the community have a high confidence level in the people protecting the base.