AIR FORCE ACADEMY


133rd engineers ready to help law enforcement

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Story by SFC James McGuire on 02/05/2018
LARAMIE, Wyo. Wyoming National Guardsmen are on call to support civil authorities in a myriad of ways, including firefighting, flood mitigation and even riot control.
The state always has a unit trained and ready to support law enforcement should the need arise, and for a little more than a year, the baton of the National Guard Reaction Force in Wyoming has been in the hands of the 133rd Engineer Company, based in Laramie. The extra duty cycles to different units on a standard rotation.
The soldiers of the 133rd are primarily heavy equipment operators, horizontal engineers and mechanics. And while the majority of their time at drill weekends is spent on that focus, unit members also train to deploy quickly and support missions like establishing road blocks and check points; site security; show of force; and control of a civil disturbance. The team is also capable of operating in a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive environment.
Once a year all of the NGRF members have to certify their non-lethal restraint and weapons skills. That training and certification includes the use of pepper spray, Tasers and batons; all of which they learn from both sides of the weapon.
Getting an eyeful of pepper spray, getting knocked to their knees with a Taser or taking a few blows from the "black light sabers of death," is just part of the deal, and "really cool," according to Pvt. Elvvis Fangrow.
After completing a written test, and several familiarization exercises with the Taser, each soldier gets shot with a shock.
"Most units don't get to do this," Fangrow, an equipment operator, said after getting stunned. "I'm feeling very confident if we ever have to do riot control or something."
Tech. Sgt. Adam Coulon, assigned to the Wyoming Air National Guard's 153rd Security Forces Squadron and its full-time rapid deployment force, was one of several airmen training his brothers in green in Laramie.
"We are all certified instructors," Coulon said of his unit. "We are giving them the same training we get every year."
"This is definitely the highlight of our training," said 2nd Lt. Marquez Perez, a platoon leader with the 133rd. "We have a revolving knowledge base. We're always updating techniques and tactics, whether infantry tactics or setting up traffic control points."
Jesse Curtis, special programs manager at the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy, enjoys working with the Guard and familiarizing the soldiers with the same skills he teaches the officers they may be supporting someday.
He teaches them how to use a baton in a non-lethal way and warns them of the lethality of the weapon if not used in a disciplined manner.
"Remember, if you're using this, you're using it on bad guys who want to hurt you," Curtis said to the group. "Use it well."
It appears the engineers are ready and fired up, now, and for the future, if needed. And it seems little else fires up morale like watching your comrades get hit with a Taser.
"Yeah! Let's do it again," shouted Sgt. Felicia Staman.
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Photos available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wyoguard/albums/72157692307863754
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ROTC Cadets, from right, Remington Cooley, Michelle Tadych and John-Paul Heaney, assigned to the Wyoming Army National Guard's 133rd Engineer Company, complete the written test as part of certification training for the X26 Conducted Electrical Weapon, Jan. 27, 2018, at the Laramie armory. As part of the training for the Wyoming National Guard Reaction Force, the soldiers load, fire and get stunned. (Wyoming Army National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class Jimmy McGuire)

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Pvt. Clayton Bauer, a combat medic assigned to the Wyoming Army National Guard's 133rd Engineer Company, asks Master Sgt. Greg Wardle, assigned to the Wyoming Air National Guard's 153rd Security Forces Squadron, for follow-up instruction on loading the X26 Conducted Electrical Weapon, Jan. 27, 2018, at the Laramie armory. As part of the training for the Wyoming National Guard Reaction Force, the soldiers load, fire and get stunned. (Wyoming Army National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class Jimmy McGuire)

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Sgt. 1st Class Stacey Hiser, a platoon sergeant assigned to the Wyoming Army National Guard's 133rd Engineer Company, fires a Taser at a target as trainer Tech. Sgt. Danny Simonson, assigned to the Wyoming Air National Guard's 153rd Security Forces Squadron, certifies his skill. The 153rd SFS conducted certification training for the National Guard Reaction Force, at the Laramie armory Jan. 27, 2018. (Wyoming Army National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class Jimmy McGuire)

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Capt. Benjamin Nemec, commander of the Wyoming Army National Guard's 133rd Engineer Company, leads from the front as the first soldier to get stunned with a Taser, Jan. 27, 2018, by members of the Wyoming Air National Guard's 153rd Security Forces Squadron who conducted certification training for the National Guard Reaction Force, an extra duty assigned to Nemec's unit. Applying the clips is Tech. Sgt. Danny Simonson, assigned to the 153rd SFS. (Wyoming Army National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class Jimmy McGuire)

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Pvt. Magdelena Corona and Pfc. Brock Munoz, assigned to the Wyoming Army National Guard's 133rd Engineer Company, practice non-lethal baton techniques, Jan. 27, 2018, at the Laramie armory. The 133rd is responsible for providing the Wyoming National Guard Reaction Force, an extra duty temporarily assigned to the unit. (Wyoming Army National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class Jimmy McGuire)

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Sgt. Felicia Staman and ROTC Cadet Michelle Tadych, assigned to the Wyoming Army National Guard's 133rd Engineer Company, practice non-lethal baton techniques, Jan. 27, 2018, at the Laramie armory. The 133rd is responsible for providing the Wyoming National Guard Reaction Force, an extra duty temporarily assigned to the unit. (Wyoming Army National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class Jimmy McGuire)

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Soldiers of the Wyoming Army National Guard's 133rd Engineer Company, get stunned with a Taser, Jan. 27, 2018, at the Laramie armory, by members of the Wyoming Air National Guard's 153rd Security Forces Squadron who conducted Taser certification training for the National Guard Reaction Force, an extra duty assigned to the Army Guard unit. They also learned and practiced non-lethal baton tactics with Jesse Curtis, special programs manager at the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy. (Wyoming Army National Guard video by Sgt. 1st Class Jimmy McGuire)

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