Marines strengthen camp security augmentation force
Control your suspects,” was the command given as Marines apprehended their fellow Marines posing as suspects.
Marines of the camp guard and the security augmentation force on Camps Hansen and Schwab engaged in security augmentation force training on Camp Schwab April 15-19 to sharpen their skills in installation security.
“The SAF training prepares individuals to do a six-month rotation as part of camp security,” said Staff Sgt. Anthony Mendoza, the chief trainer with the Provost Marshal’s Office, Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler, Marine Corps Installations Pacific.
The course contained a variety of training, including baton fundamentals, oleoresin capsicum, or OC, spray certification, escalation of force and mechanical advantage control hold techniques, which are defensive hand-to-hand tactics, according to Mendoza.
“MACHs are a part of a system taught in the nonlethal weapons instructor course,” said Mendoza. “It utilizes mechanical advantage control holds where you use your suspect’s momentum to benefit you in implementing takedowns and contact controls.”
Camp guards are not only trained to extend law enforcement capacity, they are also on standby for emergencies, according to Mendoza.
“They are going through this training in order to help with any incidents that happen or when any extra security may be needed,” said Mendoza.
There are procedures in place to keep the installation and the public safe if weather conditions turn for the worst, according to Mendoza.
“If the threat of a typhoon becomes dangerous in nature, the SAF will stand security at all entry control points wearing Kevlar helmets and flak jackets,” said Mendoza.
For the Marines undergoing this training, it was an enjoyable change from their everyday responsibilities, according to Mendoza.
“Marines benefit from receiving this training because it gives them a chance to better themselves and their fellow Marines,” said Mendoza. “They get certified with OC spray, and they also get to practice baton-striking techniques. Additionally, they build camaraderie with their fellow Marines.”
Coming out each morning ready to train and learn gave the Marines serving as members of the SAF an experience they would not have in their regular jobs, according to Lance Cpl. Anthony C. Verdi, a Marine currently assigned to the security augmentation force.
“I like the physical aspects of the course, especially the blocking techniques and defensive skills,” said Verdi. “I felt lucky to go through this course because it is something I have never done before.”
There are challenges to overcome in the course including a written exam for the escalation of force test, a circuit course for the OC spray certification, and learning the techniques for the MACHs, according to Mendoza.
“They can overcome this if they pay attention in class and have the drive to succeed and pass the class,” said Mendoza.