Defenders strengthen combat skills Published Sept. 10, 2018 By Senior Airman Christopher Maldonado 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- U.S. Airmen assigned to the 20th Security Forces Squadron participated in annual combatives training, Sept. 5.The training helped build on acquired fighting styles and techniques through a series of simulations, each intended to see how defenders respond to commands and make corrective actions to diffuse the situations.The scenarios gave the Airmen the opportunity to brush-up on handcuffing and searching techniques, as well as approaching individuals and self-defense procedures.“It is imperative that defenders take this training seriously,” said Staff Sgt. Barry O’Brien, 20th SFS combatives trainer. “While they are downrange, they deal with a different environment but use the same tools and techniques. Defenders have to become adaptive to the new environment and use the tools and techniques to mitigate any threats.”O’Brien went on to say that Shaw’s defenders play a critical role in protecting the Air Force’s largest F-16 combat fighter wing.While controlling the entrances to the installation or patrolling the streets of Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, these Airmen must remain ready to tackle anything that gets in their way.Because 20th SFS Airmen learn how to respond to any situation, they practice the proper ways of falling to prevent injuries and how to recover should they be immobilized during a fight.While responding to these situations, the Airmen practiced their weapon retention, non-dominant and dominant body positions.“Defenders are the first line of defense, and need to know how to use the tools and techniques learned since incidents aren’t always the same,” said Staff Sgt. Ryan Focht, 20th SFS unit trainer. “Defenders practice a variety of techniques which include weapon retention, non-dominant and dominant body positions, escapes, and submissions.”With this training under their belts the Airmen are able to keep themselves better equipped to accomplish the mission both stateside and overseas.