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Joint Riot Control Exercise Strengthens Local Law Enforcement Ties

Portland Air National Guard Base, PORTLAND, Ore. -- Members of the 142nd Fighter Wing Security Forces Squadron participated in a joint riot control exercise with local law enforcement organizations and the 186th Military Police Company April 11, 2010.

The goal of this exercise was to train airmen and soldiers in crowd management and crowd control techniques for riot scenarios they may encounter while activated. The Portland Police Bureau, Vancouver Police Department, Clackamas County Sheriff's Office and Port of Portland Police participated as trainers for the exercise.

This exercise is relevant to the guard because they may be called on to assist, said Sgt. Ryan Lee from the Portland Police Bureau. Lee pointed out that military members were called on during Hurricane Katrina, the recent earthquake in Haiti, and the Rodney King riots; illustrating the need for specific riot control training to military members augmenting police departments.

22 members of the 142nd Fighter Wing Student Flight also participated in the training as members of a fictitious mob, to help the 142nd Security Forces Squadron train for riot control scenarios.

"I realized I don't ever want to be in a riot where the Air National Guard is there," said Owen Bridge, a member of the 142nd Fighter Wing Student Flight.

During the training, 142nd SFS members conducted take-down techniques while fellow squadron members "held the line," and stood shoulder-to-shoulder in a straight-line formation used to maintain a perimeter to control a riot situation.

Bridge remarked that he didn't know what to expect at first but he felt a "huge adrenaline rush" acting as a rioter.

"Once you get right up in their face, it was pretty serious," said Bridge.
Members of the 142nd SFS practiced baton-striking techniques, hitting practice pads held by members of the Portland Police Bureau participating in the training. The Policemen held the pads while maintaining a wide foot stance to brace against the strikes.

"Hopefully we'll never be called up, but if we are, we'll have an opportunity to go out there and serve and integrate well," said Staff Sgt. Dennis Griffis, security control leader for the 142nd Security Forces Squadron.