Combat Camera TFI – Training Together for the Challenges Ahead

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Hamilton Underwood
  • 4th Combat Camera Squadron

After two weeks in the field participating in Exercise Scorpion Lens and one week of prep, active duty and Reserve Airmen from the 1st and 4th Camera Squadrons, respectively, decamped  Army Training Center Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and McCrady Training Center, Eastover, S.C for the road back to Joint Base Charleston. 

The exercise is the 1 CTCS’s annual ability to survive and operate training exercise mandated by Air Force Combat Camera job qualification standards. It’s the second time the 4 CTCS Reserve Citizen Airmen have participated in the exercise since co-locating with their active duty counterparts. Capt. Jinny Lang,4 CTCS and a two-time participant, said: “This training is important on several levels. It’s vital on an individual skills level, and it’s strengthening the Air Force’s Combat Camera Total Force Initiative. We’re going to deploy together, so it’s vital that we train together.” 

The training included combatives (unarmed combat), M4 rifle and M9 pistol live-fire exercises, patrol techniques and how to call in nine-line medivac. 

 “It was the crawl-walk-run training approach. It started in the classroom and climaxed with a firefight," said Staff Sgt. Kyle Brasier, 4 CTCS. " As a photojournalist I feel I have the camera down, but firing sim[ulation] rounds at OPFOR [the opposition force] and conducting a sensitive site exploitation underfire, it’s not something we do during a [Reserve] unit training assembly.” 

The training also included how to operate in chemical and nighttime environments. 

”I had never set up DVIDS [Defense Video Information Distribution System] terminal before," said Corban Lundborg, 4 CTCS. "This is how we transmit our imagery from an austere location back to the States. HMMWV [Humvee] roll-over training, a virtual reality firing range and much more was packed into the three weeks of training meant to prepare Air Force’s Combat Camera Airmen, Reserve and active duty, for the missions coming over the horizon.

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