McALESTER ARMY AMMUNITION PLANT, Okla. — Control. Balance. Takedown.
(Credit – Kevin Jackson AMC)
They aren’t the movements of a superhero, but rather the commands used to provide 19 Department of the Army police and security officers with non-lethal defense training here, March 6-17.
“They’re doing good,” said Nick Cassiano, international instructor for Controlled F.O.R.C.E., based in Batavia, Ill., about working with the second group of nine who received their training during the second week.
“They are retaining it and are able to teach it back. By the end of the week, I will have them do teach backs for everything we have done for the whole week and make sure they are competent to teach it to new squad members.”
After demonstrating their competence, each of the officers will be certified by Controlled F.O.R.C.E. to teach the same proprietary content to other law enforcement officers at MCAAP and the U.S. Army Materiel Command.
Level 1 training focused on Mechanical Advantage Control Holds, or MACH, and Level 2 training covered survival force reactionary defense.
“This is something I wanted to get done for six years now and it’s something that I found that satisfies my needs for our organization,” said Rick Spier, MCAAP’s Department of the Army Civilian security force supervisor.
Brittany Elliott is the newest member of his team. She joined MCAAP’s security team in January after spending four years working as a member of security forces with the U.S. Air Force.
Elliott said she is familiar with some hand-to-hand combat techniques and that she believes the new techniques she learned will be valuable.
“Its great training,” Elliott said, “especially if you’re trying to just deflect someone coming at you and you’re not trying to hurt them.
“There are a lot of good techniques here to get yourself out of danger or push them away, so as not to make the situation worse.”
With law enforcement coming under increasing public scrutiny in recent years, it’s important that their actions don’t give the appearance of excessive force.
“We try to teach them how not to be the next YouTube sensation, where they are shown pummeling a suspect,” said Cassiano.
“With our techniques, if they use them correctly, everything will look good on camera. There is no pain. The only pain that could occur is if a suspect resists and they inflict pain on themselves.”
While the MCAAP security team seldom encounters unruly people, Spier felt it was important for them to receive hand-to-hand protection and disruption techniques training that could be used to diffuse a potentially volatile situation.
“It’s every officer’s goal not to engage in hand-to-hand combat,” said Spier.
“This training provides us another level of non-lethal force that we have at our disposal now if we encounter someone who wants to be antagonistic,” he said.
MCAAP is one of 14 installations of the Joint Munitions Command and one of 23 organic industrial base facilities under the U.S. Army Materiel Command.