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Yearly training keeps 60th SFS sharp

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jamie Tovar, 60th Security Forces Squadron successfully neutralizes the instructor during Defender Annual Refresher crucible training, Oct. 27, Travis Air Force Base, Calif.  60th SFS team members go through a 30-day period of intense training for the DART program. The teams of specially trained security forces personnel are dedicated to providing security for terrorist and criminal threat areas.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jamie Tovar, 60th Security Forces Squadron successfully neutralizes the instructor during Defender Annual Refresher crucible training, Oct. 27, Travis Air Force Base, Calif. 60th SFS team members go through a 30-day period of intense training for the DART program. The teams of specially trained security forces personnel are dedicated to providing security for terrorist and criminal threat areas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Heide Couch)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Christopher Boone, 60th Security Forces Squadron struggles to maintain his “weapon” during Defender Annual Refresher crucible training, Oct. 27, Travis Air Force Base, Calif.  60th SFS team members go through a 30-day period of intense training for the DART program. The teams of specially trained security forces personnel are dedicated to providing security for terrorist and criminal threat areas.

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Christopher Boone, 60th Security Forces Squadron struggles to maintain his “weapon” during Defender Annual Refresher crucible training, Oct. 27, Travis Air Force Base, Calif. 60th SFS team members go through a 30-day period of intense training for the DART program. The teams of specially trained security forces personnel are dedicated to providing security for terrorist and criminal threat areas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Heide Couch)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Christopher Boone, and Staff Sgt. Jamie Tovar, both with 60th Security Forces Squadron, have minutes to dissemble and reassemble a weapon while answering questions being rapidly asked by an instructor during Defender Annual Refresher crucible training, Oct. 27, Travis Air Force Base, Calif.  60th SFS team members go through a 30-day period of intense training for the DART program. The teams of specially trained security forces personnel are dedicated to providing security for terrorist and criminal threat areas.

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Christopher Boone, and Staff Sgt. Jamie Tovar, both with 60th Security Forces Squadron, have minutes to dissemble and reassemble a weapon while answering questions being rapidly asked by an instructor during Defender Annual Refresher crucible training, Oct. 27, Travis Air Force Base, Calif. 60th SFS team members go through a 30-day period of intense training for the DART program. The teams of specially trained security forces personnel are dedicated to providing security for terrorist and criminal threat areas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Heide Couch)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Christopher Boone with 60th Security Forces Squadron, has minutes to dissemble and reassemble a weapon while answering questions being rapidly asked by an instructor during Defender Annual Refresher crucible training, Oct. 27, Travis Air Force Base, Calif.  60th SFS team members go through a 30-day period of intense training for the DART program. The teams of specially trained security forces personnel are dedicated to providing security for terrorist and criminal threat areas.

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Christopher Boone with 60th Security Forces Squadron, has minutes to dissemble and reassemble a weapon while answering questions being rapidly asked by an instructor during Defender Annual Refresher crucible training, Oct. 27, Travis Air Force Base, Calif. 60th SFS team members go through a 30-day period of intense training for the DART program. The teams of specially trained security forces personnel are dedicated to providing security for terrorist and criminal threat areas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Heide Couch)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Christopher Boone with 60th Security Forces Squadron, has minutes to dissemble and reassemble a weapon while answering questions being rapidly asked by an instructor during Defender Annual Refresher crucible training, Oct. 27, Travis Air Force Base, Calif.  60th SFS team members go through a 30-day period of intense training for the DART program. The teams of specially trained security forces personnel are dedicated to providing security for terrorist and criminal threat areas.

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Christopher Boone with 60th Security Forces Squadron, has minutes to dissemble and reassemble a weapon while answering questions being rapidly asked by an instructor during Defender Annual Refresher crucible training, Oct. 27, Travis Air Force Base, Calif. 60th SFS team members go through a 30-day period of intense training for the DART program. The teams of specially trained security forces personnel are dedicated to providing security for terrorist and criminal threat areas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Heide Couch)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jamie Tovar, 60th Security Forces Squadron, tries to take down the “Redman” during Defender Annual Refresher crucible training, Oct. 27, Travis Air Force Base, Calif.  60th SFS team members go through a 30-day period of intense training for the DART program. The teams of specially trained security forces personnel are dedicated to providing security for terrorist and criminal threat areas

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jamie Tovar, 60th Security Forces Squadron, tries to take down the “Redman” during Defender Annual Refresher crucible training, Oct. 27, Travis Air Force Base, Calif. 60th SFS team members go through a 30-day period of intense training for the DART program. The teams of specially trained security forces personnel are dedicated to providing security for terrorist and criminal threat areas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Heide Couch)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Christopher Boone, 60th Security Forces Squadron, tries to take down the “Redman” during Defender Annual Refresher crucible training, Oct. 27, Travis Air Force Base, Calif.  60th SFS team members go through a 30-day period of intense training for the DART program. The teams of specially trained security forces personnel are dedicated to providing security for terrorist and criminal threat areas.

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Christopher Boone, 60th Security Forces Squadron, tries to take down the “Redman” during Defender Annual Refresher crucible training, Oct. 27, Travis Air Force Base, Calif. 60th SFS team members go through a 30-day period of intense training for the DART program. The teams of specially trained security forces personnel are dedicated to providing security for terrorist and criminal threat areas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Heide Couch)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Christopher Boone, 60th Security Forces Squadron, uses a non-lethal taser to take down an armed “assailant” during Defender Annual Refresher crucible training, Oct. 27, Travis Air Force Base, Calif.  60th SFS team members go through a 30-day period of intense training for the DART program. The teams of specially trained security forces personnel are dedicated to providing security for terrorist and criminal threat areas.

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Christopher Boone, 60th Security Forces Squadron, uses a non-lethal taser to take down an armed “assailant” during Defender Annual Refresher crucible training, Oct. 27, Travis Air Force Base, Calif. 60th SFS team members go through a 30-day period of intense training for the DART program. The teams of specially trained security forces personnel are dedicated to providing security for terrorist and criminal threat areas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Heide Couch)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Christopher Boone, and Staff Sgt. Jamie Tovar, both with 60th Security Forces Squadron, prepare to meet the “Redman” during Defender Annual Refresher crucible training, Oct. 27, Travis Air Force Base, Calif.  60th SFS team members go through a 30-day period of intense training for the DART program. The teams of specially trained security forces personnel are dedicated to providing security for terrorist and criminal threat areas.

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Christopher Boone, and Staff Sgt. Jamie Tovar, both with 60th Security Forces Squadron, prepare to meet the “Redman” during Defender Annual Refresher crucible training, Oct. 27, Travis Air Force Base, Calif. 60th SFS team members go through a 30-day period of intense training for the DART program. The teams of specially trained security forces personnel are dedicated to providing security for terrorist and criminal threat areas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Heide Couch)

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Since August, the 60th Security Forces Squadron at Travis Air Force Base, California, has been conducting Defender Annual Refresher Training on base in order to remain one of the nation’s most effective security forces.

DART consolidates 256 hours of ancillary training into a 30-day course designed to reinforce training integral to the accomplishment of the 60th SFS mission: providing a safe and secure operating environment for Team Travis.

“The training includes all their core critical tasks that they are required to re-certify on annually,” said James Frazier, 60th SFS security forces training instructor. “Things like drug abuse recognition, field sobriety testing, the use of lethal and less lethal weapons and the use of force are all covered by the training. We make sure our defenders have all their critical certifications to accomplish their job.”

When it comes to a suspect with a gun or a potentially fatal vehicle accident, it’s the mission of the 60th SFS to react instantly to keep base personnel safe. It’s a mission that requires a special type of person, said Staff Sgt. Jaime C. Tovar, 60th SFS standardization evaluations evaluator.

“It certainly takes a particular breed to be running towards gunfire instead of from it,” said Tovar. “Going through this training gives me pride knowing that we [the 60th SFS] are all in the same fight. I can trust the person to the left or right of me to have my back when the situation becomes dire.”

DART is required for all 60th SFS Airmen from the rank of airman basic to technical sergeant and first and second lieutenants. Vital to the training are simulated “real world” and practical scenarios that help the defenders bridge the divide between procedure and instinct.

“When you’re in a life or death situation, there’s no room for mistakes,” said Tovar. “A big part of this training is to drill those mistakes out of us so that when the time comes where we’re the difference between someone living or dying, we can react without hesitation and can get that person to safety.”

While the 30-day course is set up to become a lynchpin in the success of an organization renowned for both its professionalism and effectiveness, Tovar claims that the time spent fostering bonds with his fellow defenders has played as important a role as any training has.

“Working with everyone and being exposed to all these different people from all these different cultures and backgrounds definitely builds up a sense of camaraderie between members of the 60th SFS," said Tovar. “And when it comes down to it, that’s really what the lifeblood is of what we do here. If you can’t trust the people next to you or if you don’t believe they can watch your back, our operations can completely fall apart. So while DART definitely reinforces our core competencies, it also brings us closer together knowing the capabilities of one another and knowing we’re on the same page. Even the time we spend at the gates for hours in the sun or rain or cold is an important part of establishing that trust with your partners.”

 Frazier has seen that trust firsthand, and having been witness to the skills displayed by those who have participated in DART, feels safe in the knowledge that the training has helped to produce a force who has deserved the trust of its community.

“I have the utmost confidence in these defenders’ skill sets when they leave our training environment,” said Frazier. “I sleep well at night knowing our defenders are on watch and protecting our personnel at all times.”


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