YOUNGSTOWN AIR RESERVE STATION, Ohio. —
Defenders from the 403rd Security Forces Squadron at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, traveled to Youngstown, Ohio Air Reserve Station to participate in the Integrated Defense Leadership Course May 9-23.
The IDLC, a relatively new training course offered to Air Force Reserve Defenders, lasts two weeks and is designed to provide Reserve Citizen Airmen with intensely focused practical training to achieve and maintain readiness for combat, a level of training often difficult to achieve during a unit training assembly weekend once a month.
The intensive field training course provided a scenario in which defenders landed in a fictional foreign country, held at Camp James A. Garfield Joint Military Training Center, and were tasked with setting up and defending their base and their planes, said Tech. sergeant. Christopher Cabibi, combat arms instructor for the 403rd SFS.
“During the two weeks we did combat training, close quarters (tactical care of casualties in combat), fired, moved and communicated, dismounted patrols and land navigation exercises to name a few” , said Staff Sgt. Randall Boone, also a combat arms instructor for the 403rd SFS.
Boone said the training that stood out for him was CQB, an exercise designed to practice strategic movements around corners and in enclosed spaces and learn building clearing techniques.
“It gave me an adrenaline rush,” he said. “For this drill we’re using simulation rounds, so it’s the most realistic because you don’t want to get hit.”
This was not the 403rd SFS’s first foray into the CJAG forests, as a group of members, including Cabibi, attended the beta edition of the course in May 2021.
“There were a few minor changes to the training, but overall I think this year’s comprehensive version of the course was an improvement on an already effective training opportunity,” he said.
In addition to honing a wide range of skills equivalent to the security forces profession, Cabibi and Boone agreed that IDLC was a great opportunity to build camaraderie for the reserve squadron.
“We were really able to bond and get to know the people in our unit,” Cabibi said. “The course provided an opportunity to develop unit cohesion and increase morale.”
Boone said overall the course was a great refresher for members like him who have been in the career field for a while and a deep learning opportunity for junior enlisted Airmen in attendance.
“It was definitely a challenge, but I loved it,” Cabibi said. “I’ve been in the Air Force for 19 years and this course is by far the best training I’ve ever had. We did pre-deployment trainings, level trainings, and I would say this one taught me the most.