The Fort Rucker DPS Special Reaction Team mans its armored vehicle as members respond to a simulated situation in the Bowden Terrace housing area during the team’s annual certification exercise. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)
Published: March 25, 2016
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (March 25, 2016) -- With threats present across the world such as the recent terrorist attacks in Brussels, Belgium, a sense of security is an invaluable feeling, but that feeling doesn’t count for much without the means to back it up.
That’s why the Fort Rucker Special Reaction Team works to ensure it’s ready to handle any situation that might threaten the lives of those on the installation, according to Capt. Jonathan Denny, Directorate of Public Safety operations officer in charge.
The SRT – comprised of both military and civilian police – recently conducted its annual certification exercise March 16 in Bowden Terrace, where the team deployed its armored vehicle to respond to a simulated situation on post to put its training to the test, he said.
“We provide a scenario where we activate the SRT just like they would be activated in a real-life scenario,” Denny said. “The team has to prepare based on the situation, which can always end in different ways depending on how the scenario plays out.”
During this exercise, the team was responding to a barricaded subject in one of the on-post housing facilities, who may have been in some sort of altered mental state, said Chief Marcel Dumais, Fort Rucker chief of police.
“This scenario, specifically, we designed so that the team would have to do everything from make entry into the quarters and deal with what they would find inside,” he said. “They don’t know what the scenario is because we really want to get a good look at their tactics and how they do things, and the best way to see that is to not give them any information prior to the exercise.”
“The purpose of the exercise not only gives us a chance to evaluate the team, but to also implement the variety of the capabilities that the team has,” added Denny. “This essentially goes back to their purpose, which is being another asset that we have on Fort Rucker in order to safeguard the community.”
Being the community’s safeguard is what makes the SRT special since team members are trained to take on the most extreme situations that the installation might face.
“We call those guys when it goes beyond a normal call of service,” said Dumais. “The situations that they’re trained for are the most extreme cases that we would deal with on the installation – the barricaded subjects, terrorist threats and things of that nature.
“They are the tip of our spear, and these exercises give us the trust and confidence that the team is prepared to do whatever we need them to do,” he continued. “They’re ready to go at a moment’s notice.”
That type of readiness doesn’t come easy, considering the team must conduct a full 40-hour week of training every month, as well as complete weapons qualifications quarterly in order to keep the community safe, Denny said.
Following the exercise, the team and DPS conduct an after-action review of the team’s performance to evaluate what was done correctly and what might be improved upon, and Dumais said the team’s performance this time was top notch.
“I think the team did very well,” he said. “They met all the (standards) they needed to and they are now certified for another year.”
Having completed their certification, Dumais said that the community on Fort Rucker should rest assured that they have a team that can tackle any situation.
“I would like the community to know that we take this type of situation extremely seriously, so when we talk about a crisis management situation that we’re going to deal with, we do consider that to be extremely important,” said the police chief. “I hope that everyone on Fort Rucker feels more comfortable knowing that we have a trained special reaction team here to respond to whatever might happen.”
This article was originally published at http://www.army.mil/article/164945/
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