403rd defenders complete two week Integrated Defense Leadership Course

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Kristen Pittman
  • 403rd Wing Public Affairs

Defenders from the 403rd Security Forces Squadron at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, traveled to Youngstown Air Reserve Station, Ohio, to participate in the Integrated Defense Leadership Course May 9-23.

The IDLC, a relatively new training course offered to Air Force Reserve defenders, lasts two weeks and is designed to provide Reserve Citizen Airmen with intensely focused hands-on training to achieve and maintain combat readiness, a level of training often difficult to achieve during a once-a-month Unit Training Assembly weekend.

The field-intensive training course provided a scenario where the defenders landed in a fictional foreign country, staged at Camp James A. Garfield Joint Military Training Center, and were tasked with setting up and defending their base and aircraft, said Tech. Sgt. Christopher Cabibi, combat arms instructor for the 403rd SFS.

“During the two weeks we did combative training, close quarters battle, (tactical combat casualty care), shoot, move and communicate, dismounted patrols, and land navigation exercises to name a few,” said Staff Sgt. Randall Boone, also a combat arms instructor for the 403rd SFS.

Boone said the training that stood out to him was the CQB, an exercise designed to practice strategic movements around corners and in enclosed spaces and learn building clearing techniques.

“It gave me an adrenaline rush,” he said. “For that exercise we use simulation rounds, so it feels the most realistic because you don’t want to get hit.”

This wasn’t the 403rd SFS’s first foray into the forests of CJAG, as a group of members, including Cabibi, attended the beta edition of the course in May 2021.

“There were some minor changes to the training, but overall, I think this year’s version of the full course was an improvement on an already effective training opportunity,” he said.

In addition to sharpening a wide range of skills tantamount to the security forces profession, Cabibi and Boone agreed that the IDLC was a great camaraderie building opportunity for the Reserve squadron.

“We really got to bond and get to know people in our unit,” said Cabibi. “The course provided the opportunity to develop unit cohesion and increase morale.”

Boone said overall the course was a great refresher for members like himself that have been in the career field for a while and an in-depth learning opportunity for the junior enlisted Airmen in attendance.

“It was definitely a challenge, but I loved it,” said Cabibi. “I’ve been in the Air Force for 19 years and this course has by far been the best training I’ve ever experienced. We’ve been to pre-deployment trainings, tier trainings, and I would say this one taught me the most.”