Feature Search

644 CBCS teaches first combined combat training course

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Charles Ruddek
  • 644th Combat Communications Squadron, Combat Readiness School NCO-in-charge
Although many Team Andersen Airmen are familiar with the Commando Warrior training course taught by the 736th Security Forces Squadron, another Air Base Defense Training Center is swiftly gaining prestige for the 36th Wing, the Combat Readiness School (CRS) offered by the 644th Combat Communications Squadron, a unit within the 36th Contingency Response Group.

Like Commando Warrior, CRS teaches students basic Air Base Defense skills to ensure they are ready to perform the Combat Communications Air Base Opening mission in even the most challenging, austere theaters. However, the students who attend CRS are not Security Forces personnel by trade; they are communicators.

"I didn't receive much combat training before I first went down range. As a result, there were many times I could have been killed or wounded," said Tech. Sgt. Ian Powell, a Cyber Transport Systems craftsman and the newest instructor at CRS. "Now, I have the proper training, and I am giving that training to my students so they never have to endure the same hardships that I did."

As it turns out, there is good reason for Sergeant Powell's enthusiasm.

The CRS has been making advances since it was first stood up in 2008. Since then, 84 students have gone through the course, including three Navy personnel. Also, in the past two years, both the length and complexity of CRS have been increased in order to introduce relevant topics such as basic satellite communications training and HUMVEE Egress Assistance Training (HEAT) into the curriculum. In addition, the latest class just achieved a significant milestone for the 36th Wing, it was a combined class that included Australian forces - the first such class on Andersen.

"Each time the Air Force gives Combat Comm. a more challenging mission, we succeed. So, the responsibilities given to us by the Air Force are constantly broadening," said Tech. Sgt Shane McGee, a parachutist, Transmission Systems craftsman and CRS instructor.

The truth of Sergeant McGee's words is now apparent within the 644 CBCS; with the graduation of CRS 10-3 and the introduction of combined combat skills training into the unit, another success has been achieved and the 644 CBCS mission has undoubtedly become even more robust.