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720th Security Forces defender instructs new Integrated Defense Leadership Course

  • Published
  • By Andre Trinidad, 943rd Rescue Group Public Affairs

The Integrated Defense Leadership Course is based at Youngstown Air Reserve Station, Ohio, and utilizes training environments at Camp James A. Garfield Joint Military Training Camp, Ohio. The program formally began this year after a beta edition in the Spring. Security Forces Squadrons from Air Force Reserve Command send Defenders to complete the intense, two-week course, gaining valuable real-world skills to bring back to their unit.

Tech. Sgt. John Colby, a member of the 720th Security Force Squadron, was selected to be part of IDLC. His story illustrates the program's potential for crafting high-quality Defenders.

After successfully graduating the initial beta class, Colby was asked to join the cadre and become a course instructor for the remainder of the fiscal year.

In many regards, Colby is representative of many individuals who make up the Air Force Reserve. His service started in another branch of the U.S. military when he began his career serving in the U.S. Marine Corps infantry. Much of the training executed at IDLC is similar to what he learned at the School of Infantry during his time in the Marines.

In addition to Security Forces training, the medical training at IDLC focuses on Tactical Combat Casualty Care. This new T-CCC training will eventually be pushed out to the entire Air Force. Colby’s civilian job as a firefighter and paramedic have prepared him for this role.

“Medical training is something that’s in my wheelhouse, so I’m able to help with the instruction on these skill sets. I’ve been teaching tactical medicine for over 10 years,” said Colby.

The entire course is about learning expeditionary skills common to Security Forces training. The idea is to engage in more hours and training than is otherwise impossible during a Unit Training Assembly. The intention is to change the mindset of Security Forces Defenders and look at things a little differently.

“As defenders we are trained for expeditionary skills but a lot of the sustainment training we do at our home base focuses on the law enforcement aspect of being a Defender,” said Colby. “And this course is changing that up and looking at the model moving forward, with future combat and future engagements.”

The course is designed for reservists by reservists. All of the cadre are Air Force reserve members and the graduates are able to improve their skills and take that experience back home. All participants will leave with a report card showing what training had been accomplished and how well they performed which enables their home units to continue to build on these skillsets during normal UTA weekends.

“Traditionally these types of courses has been designed for active duty personnel,” said Colby. “When reservists would come through the previous training course it wouldn’t always be tailored in a manner that benefited everybody the way IDLC is able to hone in on the specific needs of the Reserve.”

During the course, students were provided practical application of 52 training items from their Air Force Specialty Code Career Field Education and Training Plans. Earning over 190-hours of field instruction. Not every reserve location have the resources or subject matter experts to meet all of these training requirements making a centralized training course crucial to maintaining warfighter readiness.

The 720th Security Forces Squadron is part of the 943rd Rescue Group at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, a geographically-separated unit of the 920th Rescue Wing at Patrick Space Force Base, Florida.