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Pease defenders ascend Mount Major

PEASE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.H. -- -- Members of the 157th Security Forces Squadron recently climbed Mount Major at Alton Bay, N.H., to accomplish annual training requirements.

Airmen met on base in the early hours of Nov. 2 at the squadron before heading to the 1,786 foot mountain.  While navigating the mountain, security forces members utilized combat skills, fire team movements, land navigation and compass knowledge training.

More than 40 personnel, including recent technical school graduates and Airmen nearing retirement, participated in the day-long training event while weathering rain and snow throughout the morning.

Tech. Sgts. Timothy Hackett, Angel Cardona and Kristina Johnson, involved in the planning of the training event, were pleased with the results.

"We're training as base defenders," said Cardona, Squad 1 leader. "Much of what we trained on are basic ground combat skills that we would use in a deployed environment."

Cardona added that the 157 SFS defenders were "fortunate to have terrain like this that we can train on."

Airman 1st Class Cody Caron, one of the younger defenders participating, said he appreciated the opportunity to train alongside other Airmen with more experience.

"The SFS team really came together as a squadron, as a team and finished as one unit," he said.

The SFS team really showed what it means to be a wingman, Senior Airman Bernie Reed said after admitting it was a challenge to complete.

Reed never quit and with help from Tech. Sgt. Timothy Theberge and Senior Eric Airman Cloutier was able to complete the scenario.

This example exemplifies how Pease Airmen live up to the Airman's Creed: "I will never leave an Airman behind, I will never falter, and I will not fail."

"We worked as a team," said Caron. "Airman Reed was struggling a little and everybody pitched in to ensure we finished as a team."

The squad leaders spoke about the relevance of the training after the event.

"Training like this adds to the espirit de corps and team building in the squadron," said Cardona.

It provides our team a practical application of using the necessary skills outside of a classroom, said Tech. Sgt. Johnson.

"We know as defenders we will be put in a hostile situation at some point in our career," Johnson continued.

A sentiment echoed by Hackett, another of the organizers who planned the event.

"Here is a excellent opportunity for us to put this into play to see where our strengths and weaknesses are," he said.

According to the team that participated, the entire team returned to Pease in the early afternoon better trained and better equipped to support the Air Force and Air National Guard mission at home and abroad. 

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