MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. --
Thirteen Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany Marines successfully completed Augment Security Force training hosted by the Marine Corps Police Department, here, May 26.
Marines from a variety of military occupational specialties left their offices to participate in training aimed at aiding security efforts aboard the base.
The purpose of the one-week ASF training is to instruct augmentees how to assist military police in providing security at the main and back gates, performing perimeter checks with tactical vehicles and checking identification cards of people entering the base.
These Marines could also be called upon to assist with ongoing force protection measures if needed. Augmentees will not have inherent arrest authority, however, if they are present in the event of an arrest they are prepared and authorized to assist in the apprehension. The ASF Marines can also provide testimony in subsequent judicial proceedings.
ASF Marines completed a five-day training schedule filled with classes on security, law enforcement skills, deadly force, rules of engagement and non-lethal force techniques, including baton and pepper spray.
“For the individual Marine, it is very important for them to know the difference between rules of engagement and deadly force,” said Gunnery Sgt. Adam Iudiciani, special operations chief, MCPD. “The training emphasized that for the first contact, it is not always shoot to kill. We want the ASF Marines to assess a serious situation and ask themselves if they can deescalate this verbally, with a baton, oleoresin capsicum spray or do they need to go straight to deadly force. All of the degrees of response are now at the trainees’ disposal.”
For most of the Marines, this is their first time being exposed to deadly force, according to Iudiciani.
“The ASF training was both physical and mental,” said Sgt. Chris L. Sinclair, administration noncommissioned officer, Military Personnel, Military Personnel Branch, MCLB Albany.
The training has left Sinclair with a different perspective about law enforcement.
“The ASF training allowed me to understand the precautions of law enforcement officers and their decision making process and judgment when dealing with certain cases or individuals,” he said.
The Marines also participated in an MCPD marksmanship qualification course comprised of shooting a Beretta M9 pistol from various positions including standing, kneeling and prone positions and shotgun sustainment training.
This was Sinclair’s first time shooting the Beretta M9 pistol and 12 gauge pump shotgun.
ASF Marines will also receive continuation training in CPR, first aid and more, according to Rob McAllister, instructor, Homeland Security Solutions, MCPD.
In addition to weapons training, the Marines were also exposed to oleoresin capsicum spray, a chemical compound commonly used for riot control that irritates the eyes causing tears, pain and even temporary blindness.
On the last day of the training, Marines were sprayed in the face with OC and had to navigate through an obstacle course of Marines holding pads, who simulated attackers.
With swollen, irritated eyes filled with tears and exposed skin feeling tight and itchy, Marines fought through the course blindly throwing punches, knee strikes and baton strikes. With guidance from an instructor, each augmentee completed the course before being taken to the medical aid station where their eyes and face were washed with water and soap.
“This is a two-prong effect,” said McAllister who spent two tours as a contractor in Afghanistan. “We want them to understand the effects OC has on a person so they are more cautious in making the decision to use it. Secondly, the Marines know that even though they are contaminated, they still can continue to function and provide security.”
Sinclair said overall, the training was a great experience and his reaction to OC spray was that it burns, burns and burns!
“It felt like sticking your face in hot grease,” said Lance Cpl. Jessica Louidor, administrative clerk, Military Personnel.
She also said overcoming the fear of being sprayed was a challenge for her.
“The instructors gave an outstanding period of instruction, especially on defensive tactics,” he said. “I would sure do it again because these are the kind of activities I enjoy doing as a Marine. It (ASF) is a different environment compared to working (behind) a desk.”
All Marines passed the course and received their certification in the OC course on the last day of the training.