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No objections: Joint training to empower Airmen and Sailors

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Davis
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss.-- Security forces and legal teams work together on a daily basis, but rarely find opportunities to train together.

Keesler’s 81st Security Forces Squadron and the Naval Security Force for Naval Construction Battalion Center Gulfport partnered for two days of legal training on Keesler, March 28-29, 2022.

U.S. Air Force Capt. William Barton, 81st Training Wing adverse actions chief, and U.S. Navy Lt. Jay Jayaraman, judge staff advocate for the Judge Advocate General Corps, saw an opportunity to bring together the two branches for a larger scope of training. The training plan was largely developed by Airman 1st Class Thomas Lenoir, 81st Training Wing paralegal.

“This training was born out of the idea that from the start of an incident to when the commander makes a decision we want to improve the pipeline, or the process,” said Barton. “The Uniform Code of Military Justice applies to everybody, so it doesn't really matter if you're from the Navy or the Air Force.”
The first day of training consisted of lectures covering a range of topics with a hands-on application of the participant’s skills in a mock crime scene, requiring them to assess a scenario and produce a statement in the afternoon.

“Military members should always be developing skills wherever they are in their career,” said Lenoir. “We wanted to give security forces continuity and clarity when it comes to legal proceedings.”

The second day of training was a practical application of courtroom procedures where participants were put on the stand, questioned on their statements from the previous day and coached on their overall performance and demeanor.

“In a training environment, it's very good to make mistakes. It's very good to get uncomfortable because you're allowed to stretch out and see, ‘What are my capacities? What are the things that are missing,’” said Jayaraman.

The training went beyond required standards, providing an opportunity for security forces members and legal teams to get experience in high-stakes situations.
“I like this training because it's something different,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Quincy Bradley, 81st Security Forces Squadron unit trainer. “By doing this, our personnel are more confident if they do have to go to court.”