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Empowering tomorrow’s leaders: UNM ROTC cadets attend Kirtland’s combative course

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Tallon Bratton
  • 377th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Kirtland’s 377th Security Forces Group conducted a combative course for the University of New Mexico, Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., Feb. 9, 2024. Situated in the heart of Albuquerque, Kirtland symbolizes service and unity. For James Brining, an ROTC cadet from UNM, the opportunity to participate in a combative course at Kirtland represented a gateway to new skills and connections.

"I absolutely see opportunities like this for networking between me and other Air Force personnel in the sense that we both have something to relate to," stated Brining.

Staff Sgt. Flemming, 377th Weapons System Security Squadron training instructor, instructed a total of five ROTC cadets from UNM, reflecting the 377th Air Base Wing's commitment to building relationships with neighboring communities. Flemming expressed his enthusiasm for teaching the course to the ROTC cadets and commended their performance.

"What I've seen from these cadets is that they've brought an eagerness to learn to this event, and that's what we want to see, not only in every good trainee, but every future instructor's coachability," stated Flemming.

Brining and the other cadets engaged in hands-on training with the combative instructor and were granted access to the 377th Air Base Wing Security Forces Combat Training Facility. They spent the day learning strategies to de-escalate hostile situations, defend themselves and others and prevent adverse outcomes.

"What I hope these cadets take back from this experience is that they're able to go back and teach other cadets how to protect themselves, so that if they ever find themselves in these predicaments, they're able to protect themselves and others," Flemming emphasized.

The cadets appreciated the realism infused into the training by a highly trained subject matter expert, fueling their aspirations to participate in more events like this with Kirtland and pursue careers in the Air Force.

"All my questions have been answered in this event, and I would like to continue to have more opportunities to learn these types of topics and to see the applications so that if I encounter them, I understand what to do," stated Brining.

Kirtland strives to foster the strongest possible relationship with Albuquerque, neighboring communities and individuals aspiring to join the Air Force. This event represents one of many initiatives organized by Kirtland to provide hands-on experience of its operations to those in the Albuquerque community.

"What I would like to convey to the rest of the community regarding our presence here, is that Kirtland Air Force Base is here to serve. We are here not only to serve our country but also to serve our community. We're here to provide assistance in any capacity possible,” concluded Flemming.