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Brave Defender trains Kandahar-bound Airmen

Staff Sgt. Danielle Keister, of the 460th Security Forces Squadron from Buckley Air Force Base, Colo., serves as the watch keeper, passing information via a secure phone during a Joint Defense Operations Center exercise at Eglin AFB, Fla., May 4.  The exercise simulated real-world force protection conditions at Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan, to help deployers have specific location training before arriving to their new assignment.  The training was facilitated by the 96th Ground Combat Squadron.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

Staff Sgt. Danielle Keister, of the 460th Security Forces Squadron from Buckley Air Force Base, Colo., serves as the watch keeper, passing information via a secure phone during a Joint Defense Operations Center exercise at Eglin AFB, Fla., May 4. The exercise simulated real-world force protection conditions at Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan, to help deployers have specific location training before arriving to their new assignment. The training was facilitated by the 96th Ground Combat Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

Staff Sgt. Danielle Keister, of the 460th Security Forces Squadron from Buckley Air Force Base, Colo., plots the location of a security incident on a map during a Joint Defense Operations Center exercise at Eglin AFB, Fla., May 4.  The exercise simulated real-world force protection conditions at Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan, to help deployers have specific location training before arriving to their new assignment.  The training was facilitated by the 96th Ground Combat Squadron.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

Staff Sgt. Danielle Keister, of the 460th Security Forces Squadron from Buckley Air Force Base, Colo., plots the location of a security incident on a map during a Joint Defense Operations Center exercise at Eglin AFB, Fla., May 4. The exercise simulated real-world force protection conditions at Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan, to help deployers have specific location training before arriving to their new assignment. The training was facilitated by the 96th Ground Combat Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- As a security forces Airman, you've just arrived for your deployment to the Joint Defense Operations Center at Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan. The Airman you replaced left early so there's no transition period. You've only been at your desk for five minutes when an alarm sounds and bombs are incoming. You have a responsibility, a job to do... what's the first step?

Fifteen deployers bound for Kandahar exercised this and similar scenarios here, May 4 and 5. The Afghanistan-specific training was facilitated by the 96th Ground Combat Squadron. It is a new and separate element to the standard 17-day Brave Defender training all security forces Airmen go through prior to each deployment. This is only the third KAF class offered so far.

"Although the security forces career field hasn't officially transitioned to mission-specific JDOC training, Brave Defender recognized the need, leaned forward and developed a much-needed course," said Maj. James Habeck, the Brave Defender commander. "We built this at no extra cost to the Air Force, and it's now officially recognized by the Air Force Security Forces Center as a requirement to attend prior to working in the KAF JDOC."

Senior Master Sgt. Michael Young, a recent JDOC battle captain came to Brave Defender to help with the four-day training.

"This training helps the Airmen familiarize themselves with the NATO construct, JDOC language, specific checklists and interaction with other countries," said Young. "It is vital to make the deployment transition as seamless as possible. The mission is complex and with this training we can prepare them on the many specific scenarios they are likely to encounter. We're honing their core competencies and abilities to exercise command and control."

The course consists of two days of indoctrination briefings and training and two days of exercise scenarios. Afterward, the group joins up with their Brave Defender class for the standard training.

"(When I found out) I was going to the JDOC, I was a little nervous and did not know what to expect. Now after this training I feel confident about my job," said Staff Sgt. Amy Zieber, 139th Security Forces Squadron. "They put us under pressure and saw how we did, which helped me so much. I got an idea of what my job overseas would be like and where my strong suits are and also what I need to work on."

The JDOC course introduces the deployers to area and crash maps, local standard operating procedures, joint, coalition and host nation relationships and challenges. The exercises provide high tempo command and control training using current intelligence for the location and create an environment mimicking the Airman's operations center surroundings.

"I had no idea on what the (JDOC) job entailed and what it was all about," said Senior Airman Torrey Erbes, from the 460th Security Forces Squadron at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo. "Just from the modified training course we received, I feel more prepared to head down range and work in JDOC, rather than if I had just the typical regional training course I've received in the past. This course was without question beneficial."
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