Airmen selected to attend Phoenix Raven training
By Airman 1st Class Daniel Brosam, 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 01, 2017
MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. --
Three Airmen from Malmstrom have been selected to attend Phoenix Raven training, a first for Air Force Global Strike Command.
Staff Sgt. William Lamb, 741st Missile Security Forces Squadron tactical response force nuclear advance designated marksman program manager; Senior Airman Tyler Smith, 741st MSFS TRF assaulter; and Airman 1st Class Cristian Hernandez Mendoza, 341st MSFS response force leader; were all selected to attend three weeks of training at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, to become new members of the Phoenix Raven team.
“Being able to have an accomplishment that not many people get the opportunity to do will be a great experience,” Hernandez Mendoza said. “Hopefully this training will be able to prepare me for almost any situation in my career field.”
According to the Air Mobility Command’s official website, the Phoenix Raven program ensures an acceptable level of close quarter security for aircraft transiting airfields where security is unknown or additional security is needed to counter local threats.
The Raven teams help detect, deter and counter threats to AMC aircraft by performing aircraft security, advising aircrews on force protection measures, conducting airfield assessments and assisting aircrews in the performance of their duties when not performing their primary security duties.
Teams of two to six specially trained and equipped security forces personnel deploy as aircrew members on AMC missions as designated by the AMC threat working group.
The selection process for the training usually comes out of AMC, however, 15 Airmen from the base tried out in early May and three were selected among the others.
Since their selection, Staff Sgt. Franz Enriquez, 341st MSFS defender, and himself a Phoenix Raven, has been preparing the Airmen for training by conducting physical training exercises and practicing unarmed self-defense techniques such as unarming an armed assailant, baton training and hand-to-hand combat.
“(Enriquez) has been warming us up with exercises and teaching us the essentials of strikes and weapon retention,” Hernandez Mendoza said. “We’ve been doing a lot of running and calisthenics … pretty much preparing us to endure pain.”
Hernandez Mendoza said he wanted to try out after hearing a lot of information about the Ravens during his technical school training.
“It’s a prestigious position among our career field,” Hernandez Mendoza said. “Being a Raven has always been in the back of my mind because it’s a special element of our career field where you provide security for aircraft. Being able to explore the world and see different places got me curious about the Phoenix Raven program.”
Lamb also said his interest in the Ravens came from technical school and he has been wanting to be a part of it ever since.
“I’ve always been interested in the Phoenix Raven program since the beginning of technical school whenever I found out about their mission set and what they do,” Lamb said. “What I look forward to most is becoming a Raven and hopefully getting to an (AMC) base where you can operationally go on Raven missions and fulfill that role as a security forces member.”
The Airmen are slated to leave for Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in early June and if all goes well, they will graduate June 26 and have the honor of donning the ‘Raven’ tab on their left shoulder.