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Operation Spartan Fury: 165th Defenders Train for the Fight

Staff Sgt. Jeff Stinson, 165th Airlift Wing Security Forces, throws a smoke grenade during Operation Spartan Fury, June 1, 2013 at Fort Stewart in Hinesville, Ga. Stinson and 165th defenders advanced under cover of smoke to retake a captured building during a combat scenario. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Noel Velez/released)

Staff Sgt. Jeff Stinson, 165th Airlift Wing Security Forces, throws a smoke grenade during Operation Spartan Fury, June 1, 2013 at Fort Stewart in Hinesville, Ga. Stinson and 165th defenders advanced under cover of smoke to retake a captured building during a combat scenario. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Noel Velez/released)

Members of the 165th Security Forces Squadron charge toward a building during a combat training scenario, June 1, 2013, at Ft. Stewart?s Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) site in Hinesville, Ga. During the four-day exercise, the unit conducted daylight and night time operations for 15 hours per day with Airmen carrying over 50 lbs. of body armor, ammunition, and weapons. Personnel engaged in scenarios ranging from active shooter incidents to casualty evacuations. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Noel Velez-Crespo/released)

Members of the 165th Security Forces Squadron charge toward a building during a combat training scenario, June 1, 2013, at Ft. Stewart?s Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) site in Hinesville, Ga. During the four-day exercise, the unit conducted daylight and night time operations for 15 hours per day with Airmen carrying over 50 lbs. of body armor, ammunition, and weapons. Personnel engaged in scenarios ranging from active shooter incidents to casualty evacuations. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Noel Velez-Crespo/released)

Fort Stewart, Ga. -- Thirty-three members of the 165th Security Forces Squadron spent four days training for intense combat at Ft. Stewart's Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) site known as Colmar Village. The one-mile long and half-mile wide mock-up town comprised a two-story school, complete with wall lockers, computers, and desks, and a four-story city hall building.

Defenders occupied Colmar and set up a Base Defense Operations Center (BDOC) in the city hall building. During the arduous four day exercise, the unit conducted daylight and night time operations for 15 hours per day with Airmen carrying over 50 lbs. of body armor, ammunition, and weapons. Minimal sleep, eating MREs, lack of showers, and temperatures reaching 90 degrees pushed the Defenders to their physical and mental limits.

Personnel engaged in scenarios ranging from active shooter incidents to casualty evacuations. Some scenarios were created by Security Forces leadership and some were drawn from specific real world incidents that took place in Afghanistan and Iraq. One scenario was reminiscent of a mine incident that 165th Defenders encountered two years prior while operating outside the wire at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan. Similarly, the active shooter incident was based on a situation where a disgruntled Afghan pilot killed several Air Force personnel at Kandahar Air Base.

The training culminated in a final mission to occupy a smaller training site called Metz Village. Tech. Sgt. Derek Pollock and Tech. Sgt. Gerry Fitzgerald executed a finely tuned and well rehearsed plan that resulted in securing the town and defeating nine enemy fighters. With wisps of green and yellow smoke still in the air, echos of exploding grenades and artillery simulators long passed, and barrels still smoking from the intense fire fight, the Defenders walked away feeling proud of their accomplishments and confident in their training and equipment.

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