HILL AIR FORCE BASE — Security forces and explosive ordnance disposal personnel from the 419th Fighter Wing recently teamed up for an exercise to learn how to respond when local citizens at deployed locations turn in weapons from the streets to security checkpoints.
It’s common for local nationals in countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan to interact with security forces and EOD personnel. They often provide critical information on the location of enemy forces, weapons caches and improvised explosive devices, said Senior Master Sgt. Eric Eberhard, 419th EOD.
“The way the training scenario played out was extremely realistic,” Eberhard said. “Watching security forces interact with the foreign nationals, I felt like I was back in Iraq.”
Those who played the part of the local nationals and interpreter spoke Portuguese to simulate the significant language barrier. Participants were given a short briefing on the exercise, but the rest was improvised to keep the scenario realistic.
“This training gave Reserve and active duty Airmen a chance to work together and understand how various career fields interact to accomplish the same mission,” Eberhard said.