Cadets gain insight into security forces mission in Southwest Asia

Cadet Daniel Brand fights off two attackers during a baton training drill with the 380th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron. Brand is here as part of Operation Air Force-Deployed, a program designed to give cadets a firsthand view of a deployment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Chance Babin)

Cadet 1st Class Daniel Brand fights off two attackers during a baton training drill with the 380th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron. Brand is here as part of Operation Air Force-Deployed, a program designed to give cadets a firsthand view of a deployment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Chance Babin)

Cadet Yannie Horth yells out commands at two attackers during a baton training drill with the 380th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron. Horth is here as part of Operation Air Force-Deployed, a program designed to give cadets a firsthand view of a deployment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Chance Babin)

Cadet 2nd Class Yannie Horth yells out commands at two attackers during a baton training drill with the 380th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron. Horth is here as part of Operation Air Force-Deployed, a program designed to give cadets a firsthand view of a deployment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Chance Babin)

Cadet Jonathan Hagan fights off two attackers during a baton training drill with the 380th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron. Hagan is here as part of Operation Air Force-Deployed, a program designed to give cadets a firsthand view of a deployment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Chance Babin)

Cadet 2nd Class Jonathan Hagan fights off two attackers during a baton training drill with the 380th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron. Hagan is here as part of Operation Air Force-Deployed, a program designed to give cadets a firsthand view of a deployment. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Chance Babin)

SOUTHWEST ASIA -- For a group of Air Force Academy cadets visiting the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing in Southwest Asia, a training day with security forces proved both exhausting and informative.

The cadets, here as part of Operation Air Force-Deployed, a program designed to give cadets a firsthand view of a deployment, performed baton training with the cops of the 380th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron.

"The baton training is used as a less than lethal means of force to gain compliance against someone who poses a harmful threat to personnel," said Staff Sgt. Travis Martho, a security forces trainer with the 380th ESFS. "With the cadets, we're giving them a different point of view on how cops react and respond to situations that are tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving."

During the training, the cadets learn to use a baton against a single attacker, dressed in a red protective suit known as the red-man suit. The drill intensifies as a second and third attacker assails the cadet. Each cadet had to ward off the attackers for three minutes.

"This was tough," said Cadet 2nd Class Jake Alleman, an aspiring intelligence officer. "It was three minutes of straight pain. I boxed at the Academy, so I figured I'd have a handle on it. But after a minute or two, you think you're going strong; then you lose all technique once you get tired, and it's like a street fight."

In addition to the baton training, 380th ESFS Airmen instructed the cadets on weapons training, military dog handling and exercise scenarios.

The Operation Air Force-Deployed program sends groups of cadets to Air Force bases for three weeks, where they follow officers in different career fields to gain an understanding of career responsibilities. They also interact with enlisted members to gain a view of leadership in action.

Martho, an Oakland, Calif., native, is deployed from Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.