9th SFS, 940th SFS epitomize total force to ensure readiness

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Justin Parsons
  • 9th Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs

Whether its active duty or the Reserve, providing an opportunity for combat arms training and maintenance instructors to solidify their training and continue sharpening their skills is an absolute must.

The 9th Security Forces Squadron CATM shop works closely with its counterparts to ensure reserve instructors are ready to accomplish the fight and maximize mission effectiveness.

“Being a reservist and serving one weekend a month, we still need to maintain mission readiness. It’s critical we have a fluid working shop,” said Senior Airman Paul Rathbum, 940th SFS CATM instructor. “That’s why it's important being on orders and working with an active duty unit.”

940th SFS Airmen, who have completed CATM training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, are placed on active orders where they work alongside their active duty counterparts at the 9th SFS for two months.

“They have a lot more experience because they do the job every day,” said Rathbum. “Working with them allows us to see how they run their program and take away small things, which can help improve how we do it,”

According to Staff Sgt. Aaron Braddick, 9th SFS CATM assistant noncommissioned officer in charge, Reservist work side-by-side with his Airmen during all aspects of their job. This ranges from classroom instruction to maintenance, to running the gun range giving 940th Airmen a chance to hone their skills.

“We run a pretty tight ship, which gives them (940th Airmen) an advantage when they come here first,” said Braddick. “We help get rid of any bad habits they may have and provide a really solid foundation to take back to their shop when they are done with us.”

Braddick believes his shop benefits by getting Airmen with a fresh perspective, which forces 9th SFS members to continue growing as instructors.

Rathbum agrees and said that a close relationship between active duty and the reserves can bring many benefits Air Force wide, including the ability to create an efficient force on the battlefield.

The end result of the partnership between the 9th and 940th becomes most apparent when both its Airmen are deployed alongside each other, said Braddick.

“We’re down range together; we rely on every Airmen that’s with us to keep each other safe,” said Braddick. “You never know when the time will come to pull the trigger and protect your fellow Airmen.

Whether you’re a student or an instructor, being prepared is critical,” he continued. “That’s why this relationship is important.”