Leadership Ideas, Information and News

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Defenders take it to the edge

by Senior Airman Desiree Economides
374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

3/25/2014 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan  -- Approximately 20 NCOs and SNCOs from Security Forces Squadrons throughout Japan attended the training course, Defender's Edge, March 17-19 at the Taiyo Community Center at Yokota Air Base, Japan.

The three-day resiliency course utilizes lectures and scenario-based modules.

"We take psychological concepts and train them on the relevant aspects to embed in their daily operations and training," said Deloria Wilson, a psychologist at the Headquarters Air Force Security Forces Center at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. "Different components are meant to enhance the physical, social, spiritual and psychological edge. A lot is based in sports and law enforcement psychology."

Defender's Edge is not just an ordinary training program, but a cultural paradigm developed for defenders by defenders.

"Defenders have a unique mission... They might be exposed to certain things and they have a great responsibility in terms of defending the base," said Wilson. "Security forces leadership recognized that and wanted to make sure Airmen were specifically prepared for that mission."

The Air Force offers a number of programs to assist those in need; however, this course is tailored specifically to meet the needs of security forces , said Maj. Stephen Stouder, a trainer from Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska.

The course covers seven distinct modules using sports and law enforcement psychology. In these modules, Airmen learn the basics of how their stress response system operates, how to regulate it, and also techniques to help control pressures in their daily lives.

"I want to be able to convey to my subordinates that they are going to have hard times and stress, but they need to know the skills to manage it," said Tech. Sgt. Trendell Cole, 374th Security Forces Squadron. "Also, it teaches me how to forward those needing help and how to identify those that need additional assistance."

Defender's Edge will eventually be incorporated into formal schools for security forces, but is currently being offered through courses in coordination with the major commands. Trainers will also be able to provide feedback and receive additional training online.

"This isn't just a training package, this is about getting a lifestyle put into the culture," said Wilson. "Security forces Airmen are inherently already strong. We are focusing on giving them more tools to keep the sword sharp and the shield strong.

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