SFS trains to extinguish internal threat

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo., -- Lt. Col. Daniel Semsel, 509th Mission Support Group deputy commander, takes cover during his simulated aggressor role, as part of an active shooter exercise here March 24, 2010. The 509th Security Forces Squadron, and many others throughout the Air Force are training to deal with these types of threats from within. Hoping to reduce the number of casualties if such situations occur, a quick and effective response was the goal of the training exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jason Huddleston)  (Released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo., -- Lt. Col. Daniel Semsel, 509th Mission Support Group deputy commander, takes cover during his simulated aggressor role, as part of an active shooter exercise here March 24, 2010. The 509th Security Forces Squadron, and many others throughout the Air Force are training to deal with these types of threats from within. Hoping to reduce the number of casualties if such situations occur, a quick and effective response was the goal of the training exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jason Huddleston) (Released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo., -- Tech. Sgt. Jonathon Huber and Tech. Sgt. Bryan Gilbert, 509th Security Forces Squadron, charge through a door searching for the person who was attacking the base, during the active shooter exercise here March 24, 2010. The 509th Security Forces Squadron, and many others throughout the Air Force are training to deal with these types of threats from within. Hoping to reduce the number of casualties if such situations occur, a quick and effective response was the goal of the training exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jason Huddleston)  (Released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo., -- Tech. Sgt. Jonathon Huber and Tech. Sgt. Bryan Gilbert, 509th Security Forces Squadron, charge through a door searching for the person who was attacking the base, during the active shooter exercise here March 24, 2010. The 509th Security Forces Squadron, and many others throughout the Air Force are training to deal with these types of threats from within. Hoping to reduce the number of casualties if such situations occur, a quick and effective response was the goal of the training exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jason Huddleston) (Released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo., --Airman 1st Class Jonathan Holdridge (left), Staff Sgt. Erik Syverston (middle) and Tech. Sgt Jonathon Huber, 509th Security Forces Squadron apprehend Lt. Col. Daniel Semsel, 509th Mission Support Group vice commander, during a simulated attack of the base, as part of the active shooter exercise here March 24, 2010. The 509th Security Forces Squadron, and many others throughout the Air Force are training to deal with these types of threats from within. Hoping to reduce the number of casualties if such situations occur, a quick and effective response was the goal of the training exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jason Huddleston)  (Released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo., --Airman 1st Class Jonathan Holdridge (left), Staff Sgt. Erik Syverston (middle) and Tech. Sgt Jonathon Huber, 509th Security Forces Squadron apprehend Lt. Col. Daniel Semsel, 509th Mission Support Group vice commander, during a simulated attack of the base, as part of the active shooter exercise here March 24, 2010. The 509th Security Forces Squadron, and many others throughout the Air Force are training to deal with these types of threats from within. Hoping to reduce the number of casualties if such situations occur, a quick and effective response was the goal of the training exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jason Huddleston) (Released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo., -- Airman 1st Class Jessie Davis, 509th Communications Squadron applies pressure to a simulated gunshot wound of Airman 1st Class Jacob Davis, 394th Combat Training Squadron, during the active shooter exercise here March 24, 2010. The 509th Security Forces Squadron, and many others throughout the Air Force are training to deal with these types of threats from within. Hoping to reduce the number of casualties if such situations occur, a quick and effective response was the goal of the training exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jason Huddleston)  (Released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo., -- Airman 1st Class Jessie Davis, 509th Communications Squadron applies pressure to a simulated gunshot wound of Airman 1st Class Jacob Davis, 394th Combat Training Squadron, during the active shooter exercise here March 24, 2010. The 509th Security Forces Squadron, and many others throughout the Air Force are training to deal with these types of threats from within. Hoping to reduce the number of casualties if such situations occur, a quick and effective response was the goal of the training exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jason Huddleston) (Released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo., -- Airman 1st Class Michael Barron, 509th Security Forces Squadron, provides cover for Tech. Sgt. Bryan Gilbert while he checks the doors to clear a building, during the active shooter exercise here March 24, 2010. The 509th SFS, and many others throughout the Air Force are training to deal with these types of threats from within. Hoping to reduce the number of casualties if such situations occur, a quick and effective response was the goal of the training exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jason Huddleston)  (Released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo., -- Airman 1st Class Michael Barron, 509th Security Forces Squadron, provides cover for Tech. Sgt. Bryan Gilbert while he checks the doors to clear a building, during the active shooter exercise here March 24, 2010. The 509th SFS, and many others throughout the Air Force are training to deal with these types of threats from within. Hoping to reduce the number of casualties if such situations occur, a quick and effective response was the goal of the training exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jason Huddleston) (Released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo., -- Tech. Sgt. Jason Birch, 509th Security Forces Squadron takes cover behind a vehicle as he watches the deployment center for any suspicious people exiting the building, during the active shooter exercise here March 24, 2010. The 509th SFS, and many others throughout the Air Force are training to deal with these types of threats from within. Hoping to reduce the number of casualties if such situations occur, a quick and effective response was the goal of the training exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jason Huddleston)  (Released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo., -- Tech. Sgt. Jason Birch, 509th Security Forces Squadron takes cover behind a vehicle as he watches the deployment center for any suspicious people exiting the building, during the active shooter exercise here March 24, 2010. The 509th SFS, and many others throughout the Air Force are training to deal with these types of threats from within. Hoping to reduce the number of casualties if such situations occur, a quick and effective response was the goal of the training exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jason Huddleston) (Released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo., -- Senior Airman Anthony Dykhuis and Tech. Sgt. Jonathon Huber, 509th Security Forces Squadron, put Lt. Col. Daniel Semsel, 509th Mission Support Squadron deputy commander, into the back of the squad car after being apprehended during the active shooter exercise here March 24, 2010. The 509th SFS, and many others throughout the Air Force are training to deal with these types of threats from within. Hoping to reduce the number of casualties if such situations occur, a quick and effective response was the goal of the training exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jason Huddleston)  (Released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo., -- Senior Airman Anthony Dykhuis and Tech. Sgt. Jonathon Huber, 509th Security Forces Squadron, put Lt. Col. Daniel Semsel, 509th Mission Support Squadron deputy commander, into the back of the squad car after being apprehended during the active shooter exercise here March 24, 2010. The 509th SFS, and many others throughout the Air Force are training to deal with these types of threats from within. Hoping to reduce the number of casualties if such situations occur, a quick and effective response was the goal of the training exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jason Huddleston) (Released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo., -- Senior Airman Kasey Krautkreme (left) and Airman 1st Class Timothy Vanden Haak (right) 509th Civil Engineer Squadron fire fighters, prepare to lift Airman 1st Class Jacob Davis, 394th Combat Training Squadron, onto a stretcher to carry him over for treatment of his simulated gunshot wound, during the active shooter exercise here March 24, 2010. The 509th Security Forces Squadron, and many others throughout the Air Force are training to deal with these types of threats from within. Hoping to reduce the number of casualties if such situations occur, a quick and effective response was the goal of the training exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jason Huddleston)  (Released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo., -- Senior Airman Kasey Krautkreme (left) and Airman 1st Class Timothy Vanden Haak (right) 509th Civil Engineer Squadron fire fighters, prepare to lift Airman 1st Class Jacob Davis, 394th Combat Training Squadron, onto a stretcher to carry him over for treatment of his simulated gunshot wound, during the active shooter exercise here March 24, 2010. The 509th Security Forces Squadron, and many others throughout the Air Force are training to deal with these types of threats from within. Hoping to reduce the number of casualties if such situations occur, a quick and effective response was the goal of the training exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jason Huddleston) (Released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo., -- An Airman from the 509th Medical Group wipes blood off of a simulated casualty, during the active shooter exercise here March 24, 2010. The 509th Security Forces Squadron, and many others throughout the Air Force are training to deal with these types of threats from within. Hoping to reduce the number of casualties if such situations occur, a quick and effective response was the goal of the training exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jason Huddleston)  (Released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo., -- An Airman from the 509th Medical Group wipes blood off of a simulated casualty, during the active shooter exercise here March 24, 2010. The 509th Security Forces Squadron, and many others throughout the Air Force are training to deal with these types of threats from within. Hoping to reduce the number of casualties if such situations occur, a quick and effective response was the goal of the training exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jason Huddleston) (Released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- He went to work, just like any other day. Through the gates and in the door of the shop, greeted by his favorite dirt-bag staff sergeant with a snide remark about how he needed a haircut. But today was going to be different ...

Instead of the usual anger he felt when his day was destroyed by harsh words before his first cup of coffee, he smiled.

"I'll start with you," he said,as he drew his Glock .40 from his jacket pocket.

Although it happens for many reasons, it is happening more and more throughout society. Shooters enter crowded workplaces and open fire, killing as many as they can, sometimes, even themselves.

The 509th Bomb Wing Security Forces Squadron, and many others throughout the Air Force are training to deal with these potential threats from within, hoping to reduce the number of casualties if such situations occur.

"With today's ideology, we're finding the possibility of an active shooter more and more possible," said Robert Gainous, security forces training Instructor. "Training is now more important than ever. We train to stop the perpetrator and stop the loss of innocent lives."

Unfortunately, the prevention of these kinds shootings is nearly impossible.

"If a person decides to take an active role in a shooting, there's really no way to stop them," Mr. Gainous said. "While there are indicators someone may go 'over the edge,' there's no absolute guarantee they will be involved in an active shooting."

Quick and effective response was the goal of the training exercise conducted March 24, 2010, here.

"Our job is to protect Whiteman's populace," said Staff Sgt. James Burrton, 509th SF training instructor. "The hands-on training we do makes us conscious of the possibility of an actual active shooter and shows us how vital it is to be tactically sound."

Bringing that possibility to life is critically important to all servicemembers.

"The most common mistake is the belief that it won't happen here," said Mr. Gainous.

One assurance Whiteman members have, is the reliance on one of the largest and most heavily-trained security forces squadrons in the Air Force.

"We are all conscious and fully appreciative of the significant responsibility we bear in regards to the protection of our critical national  resources," said Tommy Hutfles, security forces training instructor. "However, as parents, brothers and sisters ourselves, we are also incredibly in tune with our responsibility toward our human resources. That's a part of my career I have taken to heart for nearly three decades."

Should a shooting occur on base, Mr. Gainous suggests the following:

"The best advice is to get as far away from the situation as you can," he said. "If you are confined in the same building as the shooter, try to barricade yourself inside a room, call 911, and provide as much information as you can to law enforcement."

"Personnel should not try to confront the shooter unless their lives are in peril. Listen to Security Forces directions; yours and others' lives may depend on it."