AFOSI trains with U.S. Marshals, local departments

AFOSI Badge and Shield

AFOSI Badge and Shield

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- In yet another effort to increase the interoperability of Scott Air Force Base, Air Force Office of Special Investigations Detachment 301 joined with officers from 15 neighboring law enforcement agencies for special training held in base housing.

"The goal was to teach officer survival," said Special Agent John Nottestad, AFOSI Det. 301, commander. "It's basically for situations where things can go wrong."

He explained the scenarios can range from rapid interventions when officers are out numbered, weapons come into play, subjects may be barricaded in a residence and hostage situations.

"The situation dictates the technique used," Agent Nottestad said. "There are a lot of different methods that can be used. They showed us several different methods and said we can use them or not."

The training was conducted by the private contracting firm Strategos, which is made up of former Special Weapons and Tactics members who are considered experts in various aspects of dynamic entries.

"They presented new ways to think about it," Agent Nottestad said. "They practiced day and night operations for distraction, sneaking up on suspects and hand-to-hand altercations."

The training was conducted in empty base housing that is being renovated. About 20 officers took part in several evolutions that presented many different challenges.

"Normally, AFOSI agents are not the ones who are kicking down doors," Agent Nottestad said. "Usually, we rely on security forces or downtown departments to handle that for us if we're outside the fence. We work with downtown departments on a regular basis."

Agent Nottestad added only a few officers from each department were able to attend the training due to space and time constraints, but those that did attend will be able to take what they've learned back and share with their unit or department.

"It's all about improved agent survival if something goes bad," Agent Nottestad said. "You could be an agent for 20 years or more and never have to use it. But, what happens if they don't have this type of training the one time they need it."

The training was funded with monies from the U. S. Department of Justice through a joint terrorism task force. Special Agent Mike Christmas spoke with U.S. marshals and was asked to invite the neighboring law enforcement personnel to participate.

"The 375th Airlift Wing was very supportive along with Mission Support Group commander Col. Melissa Applegate," Agent Nottestad said. "Thanks also to Pinnacle housing management for allowing us to perform our training in one of their residential facilities."

In a few weeks, the AFOSI agents that took part in the training will share what they learned with their colleagues in both classroom and hands-on training scenarios.

AFOSI Det. 301 is a tenant organization at Scott. A small staff of agents cover all of Illinois and Wisconsin. In a broader spectrum, they are part of AFOSI Region 3, which is aligned with Air Mobility Command nationwide.

Departments participating in the training included: AFOSI Det 301, 375th Security Forces Squadron, U.S. Marshals Service, Defense Criminal Investigative Services, East St. Louis police, St. Clair County probation, Fairview Heights police, Cahokia police, O'Fallon police, Swansea police, St. Clair County Sheriff's department, Madison County Sheriff's department, Bond County Sheriff's department, Clinton County Sherrif's department and Fairmont City police.