OSI trainers ready senior leaders for threats

  • Published
  • By Thomas Brading
  • OSI Public Affairs

A cadre of instructors from the Office of Special Investigations Academy, Detachment 1, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, travel to Montross, Virginia, each year to conduct two days of anti-terrorism training for top leaders across the Department of the Air Force, designed to prepare them, should they face life-threatening situations in their travels.

Attendees of the Senior Leader Security Seminar include general officers, senior executive service civilians, colonels and chief master sergeants who regularly travel to critical threat areas.

There are also commanders of wings and groups, command chief master sergeants and other leaders who attend, like individuals deploying to a Joint Task Force.

“A lot of the attendees are [deploying to] locations to be a commander for a wing or a group or something at a strategic level,” said Special Agent Max Kirchner, OSI Academy instructor. “A lot of them that come through here, [and] they're able to network while having fun in a relaxed environment.”

The seminar is held annually at a contract facility near Montross where OSI instructors handle all transportation to the training site.

SLSS training is comprised of classroom sessions, evasive driving maneuvers and weapons familiarization training. The seminar emphasizes recognizing and avoiding potentially hazardous situations as well as techniques for responding successfully if such situations arise.

Among the course objectives is an analysis of actual terrorist attacks to develop strategies for predicting and preventing attacks.

Day One included body armor equipment capabilities and weapons live fire exercises. Attendees fire several weapons, including the MP-5 submachine gun, AK-47 assault rifle, M-4 carbine and .45-caliber and 9mm pistols.

The second day of training has instructors emphasize instinctive driving skills, which included accident avoidance, high-speed driving skills and attack recognition and evasive tactics.

“The driving is second to none,” Kirchner said. “We drive every day, not only in the deployed environment where you have to be more aware of your surroundings, but even driving down I-95, [there are] distracted drivers now.”

That day seminar attendees experience vehicle dynamics at high speeds, from braking and turning, to evasive driving maneuvers like ramming and backing and close order driving, which simulates driving conditions in various overseas countries.

The SLSS program has been taught in various forms for 18 years. As threats change over time, the training adapts with attendees needs while maintaining overall military readiness.

“[The training] is good for survivability when you're deployed,” Kirchner said. “Just having that extra little bit of knowledge could help in a situation that turns bad.”

Editor's Note: For the YouTube version of this article click: SLSS