A 6th Security Forces Squadron marine patrol vessel patrols the waters surrounding MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Feb. 6, 2014. MacDill’s marine Patrol unit is the only Air Force amphibious Security Forces unit that runs 24-hour operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Melissa V. Paradise/Released)
Tech. Sgt. Joseph Nixon, 6th Security Forces Squadron marine patrolman, demonstrates how to use a high intensity light during filming for an educational video at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Feb. 6, 2014. The video will be used as a training video on maritime tactics for the Department of Defense. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Melissa V. Paradise/Released)
Senior Airman Carlos Reyes, 6th Security Forces Squadron marine patrolman, fires a LM51 shotgun as a warning shot for a vessel entering the restricted waters around MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., during a training exercise Feb. 3, 2014. The training exercise was conducted and filmed for a Department of Defense instructional video. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Melissa V. Paradise/Released)
by Senior Airman Melissa V. Paradise
6th Air Mobility Wing public affairs
2/11/2014 - MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The 6th Security Forces Squadron marine patrol was chosen to demonstrate non-lethal maritime tactics for a Department of Defense instructional video.
A film crew filmed members of marine patrol using and deploying, lasers, acoustics, bright lights, high-intensity lights, and pyrotechnics from Feb. 3-7, 2014.
"We're filming two videos; electronic tactics techniques and a procedures guide," said retired Senior Master Sgt. Salvador Hernandez, Headquarters Security Forces Air Force liaison and program officer for non-lethal innovations division. "It's the first guide that deals with the employment of non-lethal weapons for a maritime platform."
With the rapid change in technology and how people learn and obtain information, the Air Force has created Electronic Tactics Techniques Procedures Guides, or ETTPGs, to help military members stay up to date on the latest tactics while providing a platform that is user friendly and feeds into the way of technology.
"ETTPGs are the way of training for the future," stated Hernandez. "A lot of people, now a day, learn on tablets. The cool thing about ETTPG videos is that you can download them onto a tablet. You no longer have to go back to the squadron to learn. You just pull up a video on YouTube. It's the way the current generation learns how to do things."
However, these videos extend beyond just the needs of the Air Force. Hernandez and his team have created over 200 police tactic videos and more than 50 non-lethal tactic videos to train the entire Department of Defense.
"ETTPGs were established to train just Security Forces members," said Hernandez. "I then started to think about why we couldn't do this for anyone who has a similar mission to us, like MP's or security forces in the Marine Corp., or MAs, master of arms in the Navy. We all kind of do similar things, we all use tasers, and we all use OC spray."
But why choose to do this type of training at an Air Force base instead of a Navy or Coast Guard base? Although four Major Commands in the Air Force have bases with a marine patrol, MacDill's marine patrol is the only one of its' kind that operates 24/7/365.
"They have the premier Air Force program, because other bases come to them and ask how they do things," said Hernandez.
But the training had another benefit as well. With marine patrol being a newer, less common section in security forces, the training benefited the patrolmen at MacDill, because they were able to see and learn how to use other non-lethal techniques, better enhancing their ability to perform their job.
"We have only one non-lethal weapons system, which is an acoustic device," said Officer Jesse Gabbert, 6th Security Forces Squadron officer in-charge of marine patrol. "It gives us an opportunity to see what else is out there that we could potentially use as a non-lethal weapons system."
Looking at the training from any direction, it seems as though everyone benefited from this experience. The 6th SFS marine patrolmen now have a greater understanding of other non-lethal tactics, and they were able to show off their capabilities to their other servicemen, enhancing everyone's ability to perform their job.
"It's a great opportunity to show what our capabilities are," said Gabbert. "We feel we have the most robust marine patrol program in the Air Force. This video gives us an opportunity to lead the way for other marine patrol units in the Air Force."