Alert Reaper Airmen Find IED
Alert Reaper Airmen Find IED
By Tech. Sgt. Rob Hazelett,
455th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs.
Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan – (AFNS)
–June 27, 2013 – Most Airmen can mentally rewind to the Combat Airman Skills
Training course and recall the frustration and apprehension of not being able to
locate all the improvised-explosive devices set out in the training lanes.
Airmen from the 755th Expeditionary
Security Forces Squadron Reaper team prepare to mount up during a recent early
morning mission at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. This group of security forces
Airmen operates missions “outside the wire” providing security for the personnel
at Bagram Airfield.
U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Chris
Because the training is so realistic, at first, most Airmen
trigger the training IEDs before spotting them. After this has occurred a few
times, many Airmen start to become exasperated with the training and ask, "Why
bother? I'm not going to see an IED anyway so why strain myself?"
All the training, CAST instructors hoped would stick, became sixth sense for
several Airmen from the 755th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron assigned as
Reapers crew members near Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, June 18.
The crew members were on a patrol when something out of the ordinary caught
their attention. A flashlight visual from one of the members revealed an object
near their mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle
Without hesitation, they secured the area, maintaining a perimeter around the
object to prevent any harm to themselves and others. Then they immediately
alerted explosive ordnance disposal via their 9-line IED/unexploded ordnance
request that there was a suspicious device in their area of responsibility.
EOD later reported the partially buried object was an IED weighing approximately
150 pounds. Because of the Reapers crews actions, an IED designed to harm anyone
who detonated it was taken out of commission.
"The 755th ESFS Reapers is comprised predominantly of security forces Airmen,
many from the 820th Base Defense Group," said Capt Michael Alvord, 755th ESFS
Reapers operations officer. "However, IED's don't just target battlefield Airmen
personnel, they target anyone and everyone. Therefore, counter-IED training is
critical for all personnel. Who knows, it could be you that identifies the IED
and saves lives."
Describing their thought processes, while looking for IEDs, the cops said
staying focused and alert during patrols is key.
"My thought process is - I want to go home," came one answer for a security
forces Airman. "Stay alive!" was another response from some of the crew members
during a recent 455th Air Expeditionary Wing public affairs interview.
What about CAST training? What would these Airmen have to tell to others
currently going through the course who might be frustrated or find it cumbersome?
"I would tell them to take the training seriously," a security forces Airman
said. "To pay attention, to do their job right and don't get lackadaisical."