Are you ready for a fight?

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Rafael Rosa
  • 156th Wing

Airmen with the 156th Contingency Response Group, 156th Combat Communications Squadron and the 156th Security Forces Squadron, recently participated in the Air Force Combatives Program. 

The training was provided at Muñiz Air National Guard Base, Puerto Rico, by instructors from the 421st Combat Training Squadron and the 621st Contingency Response Squadron, Joint Base Mcguire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey.

During the 40-hour course, 22 participants learned the basics of becoming a combatives instructor through three separate modules: a standing module, ground module and the Air Force combatives history module. 

Airmen are taught everything from throwing a strike, to taking down an opponent, to doing various ground grappling and submission techniques.

It’s a very physically demanding course that enhances individual self-defense and combat readiness that may be applied, not only in domestic operations or in a deployed environment, but also in an unsuspected scenario where the only option is to defend yourself.

During close quarters hand-to-hand combat, the importance of knowing how to handle the engagement can mean the difference between life and death.

“Once these Airmen graduate, they’ll be able to conduct basic combatives training for anyone in the unit or anyone on base as far as lifesaving, self-protection assets,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Zachery Jezewski, a senior combatives instructor, with the 421st Combat Training Squadron, Joint Base Mcguire-Dix-Lakehurst.

With this new skill set, the 22 newly graduated Air Force combatives instructors, all from different sections of the 156th Wing, can pass down the knowledge they’ve acquired to other Airmen and assist in developing an always ready fighting force.    

“Now that we’re focused on having multi-capable Airmen and a mindset geared towards agile combat and employment initiatives, it’s very important that we prepare our Airmen to be multi-capable,” said Master Sgt. Jose Fontanez, the senior enlisted leader for the 156th Security Operations Squadron. “Having them take the combatives instructor course will enable and enhance our capabilities to train every Airman to meet those requirements.”  

You can see all photos from the training here.