Airmen of the 110th Security Forces Squadron conducted Armament Systems and Procedures (ASP) baton training on August 7, 2021. The training culminated in the “Red Man” exercise, which consists of using less than lethal tactics to gain compliance of a subject who is demonstrating the intent to cause harm.
Staff Sgt. Christine Trafelete, an ASP instructor with the 110th Security Forces Squadron, explained the training was vital to security forces proficiency.
“They withstand an aggressor for two minutes, which is plenty of time to get their heart rate up while still having to think about what comes next,” said Trefalete. “We teach how to use the baton, proper stance, and how to protect your head and face. At the same time, they are supposed to be hitting specific targets with the baton, such as the thigh and upper arm of the Red Man.”
Along with the physical demand, the less-than-lethal training requires ongoing communication between the Airman and the “assailant”.
“This is high stress training on purpose,” said Trafelete. “We teach these Airmen to continue to give commands throughout the entire two minutes. In the real world, you have to communicate your intent, even under pressure.”
The Red Man is instructed to continue aggression for the entire two minutes. Senior Airman Austin Walworth volunteers for the role of Red Man every chance he gets.
“I will always volunteer to put on that suit,” said Walworth. “I like to keep the energy high, and it’s a great workout for me!”
Walworth said the experience has multiple benefits, both for the Red Man and the trainee.
“I can give better critique on the Airman’s points of contact since I’m the one actually getting hit,” said Walworth. “It definitely helps to improve my own baton technique as well, because when I get hit in the wrong spot, I can definitely feel it.”
Airman 1st Class Justin Brown from the 110th Security Forces Squadron was the first volunteer to fight the man in the red padded suit.
“This is our best chance to put our skills to the test in a life-like environment,” said Brown. “It’s a good thing that we don’t get the chance to utilize this skill often, but we need to be ready in case the time comes.”
As the largest career field in the Air Force, and a critical career field in the Air National Guard, Security Forces are responsible for missile security, defending air bases around the globe, law enforcement on those bases, combat arms and handling military working dogs.