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99TH GROUND COMBAT TRAINING SQUADRON - "SILVER FLAG ALPHA"

Posted 7/12/2012 Printable Fact Sheet
 
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99th GCTS begins 45-day Joint Base Balad training course
Senior Airman Joseph Steel, 99th Security Forces Squadron, trains on the M-4 during target practice on the firing range near Creech Air Force Base, Nev. Aug. 11, 2008. The 99th Ground Combat Training Squadron recently began a new forty-five day training course called Joint Base Balad, which is designed for security forces personnel and chaplains to train to embed with the Army stationed there, and eventually take over all Army operations outside the wire at Joint Base Balad, Iraq. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Senior Airman Larry E. Reid Jr.)
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Mission
The primary mission of the 99th Ground Combat Training Squadron (GCTS) is to prepare Security Forces Airmen for combat. 99 GCTS accomplishes its mission by instructing tactical courses aimed at providing Airmen with mission specific skills to defend airbases around the globe.

This mission is accomplished by placing a strong focus on improving the skills of individual instructors and continually updating and improving the training curriculum to meet changing friendly and enemy tactics, techniques and procedures. 99 GCTS also conducts training with Joint and Combined Forces as well as other Air Force specialties in order to sharpen its combat skills.

History
In April, 1981, Headquarters Tactical Air Command established Silver Flag Alpha to teach and evaluate Security Police in Air Base Defense skills. This new training was in response to the lack of adequate weapons and ground combat training during the Vietnam War. The unit took two years to establish the school and the curriculum.

The first Silver Flag Alpha class took place in 1983. Near the end of the 1980s, Silver Flag Alpha moved the bulk of Silver Flag Alpha operations to the Indian Springs Air Force Auxiliary Field, which later became Creech Air Force Base, in order to accommodate the growing number of students and the increased scope of the course.

In 2001, the course was refocused to meet the Integrated Base Defense needs supporting Operation ENDURING FREEDOM and later Operation IRAQI FREEDOM.

Location
The 99 GCTS is located at Creech AFB, adjacent to the town of Indian Springs, Nevada. The student dormitories as well as the classrooms are located on the base. GCTS also has a range complex, which is located approximately 15 miles south of Indian Springs on Highway 95. The range complex consists of 12 ranges capable of supporting all small arms fire in the Air Force inventory, a Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) village, a bare base tent city and a maneuver area.

Capabilities
Currently, 99 GCTS is one of eight Security Forces Regional Training Centers that conduct a wide variety of courses designed to ensure SF Airmen accomplish their mission both at home station and while deployed. The primary course taught is the Base Security Operations Course. It is a 17-day course and qualifies Airmen to conduct Integrated Defense Operations within the base boundary. Each year, 99 GCTS conducts 10 to 12 courses and trains approximately 3,000 students. Silver Flag Alpha also conducts an Area Security Operations course to qualify Airmen to operate "outside the wire" (on missions and patrols beyond the base perimeter).

Airmen also receive specialized vehicle, technology, Military Working Dog and weapons training at Silver Flag Alpha specifically tailored to their individual missions. Tactical Vehicle Training trains Airmen to operate and fight vehicles as a weapon system. These vehicles include: Up-Armored High Mobility Multi-Wheeled Vehicles (UAHMMWV), Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles and MRAP All-Terrain Vehicles (MATV).

Many of the GCTS' vehicles are equipped with Common Remotely Operated Weapons Stations (CROWS). CROWS significantly increases the combat effectiveness of Security Forces vehicles while simultaneously increasing the safety of Security Forces Airmen.

The Airmen are also trained to operate Tactical Automated Sensor Systems. The course teaches them to deploy, operate and repair the sensor systems utilized to secure fixed sites by the Air Force.

Military Working Dogs (MWD) and their handlers attend specific training at Silver Flag Alpha prior to attending the BSO Course. These courses ensure MWD teams are exposed to current enemy tactics, techniques and procedures and that they are certified on all aspects of their specialized role within the Integrated Defense Operations.

The 99 GCTS is home to the largest ground firing range complex and the second largest Combat Arms section in the Air Force. The large range complex provides the opportunity for Airmen to live fire all weapons in the Air Force inventory.

Small Arms live fire familiarization is incorporated into pre-deployment training courses. Airmen also fire blank and simulated munitions (paint rounds) during their training at Silver Flag Alpha. These capabilities provide realistic training and application of tactics.

Qualification courses are taught for heavy weapons (M2, MK19, and M107) in order to provide force multipliers to deployed Defense Force Commanders. Silver Flag Alpha pioneered the first live hand grenade qualification course for RTC use in 2011. The course has now been adopted Air Force-wide.

The 99 GCTS Combat Arms section also trains Airmen to utilize non-lethal weapons including: shotgun/grenade launcher/hand grenade rounds; expandable baton; taser; and glare mout lasers. The combined weapons skill taught by 99 GCTS combat arms personnel ensure Airmen are prepared to counter a wide variety of threats in theater.

Additionally, 99 GCTS provides ranges and training for an estimated 1,500 non-Security Forces personnel annually. This includes other USAF units such as the Office of Special Investigation, Pararescue, Explosive Ordinance Disposal, RED HORSE, sister services, to included Army Special Forces, Army Reserves, Navy Special Operations, Nevada Army National Guard, Marine Reserve Forces, other governmental agencies, to include US Treasury Agents, Las Vegas Metro Police, US Customs Agents, federal and local SWAT, DEA, Nevada State Attorney General's Office and the FBI. 99 GCTS also hosts foreign national combined training exercises.


USAF Fact Sheet
99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada 89191-7078
Phone (702) 652-2750
DSN 682-2750
FAX (702) 652-9838
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