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ROTC cadets visit Vandenberg

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Tyler Kliss
  • 30th Security Forces Squadron

2nd Lt. Alex Cordell, 30th Contracting Squadron contract manager, and 12 cadets from the San Jose State University Air Force ROTC Detachment visited Vandenberg Air Force Base and the 30th Security Forces Squadron March 17.

During their time shadowing the 30th SFS, these cadets were able to see and experience how our Defenders are expertly trained and prepared to carry out their daily mission.

The cadets first started their day entering the Virtra system which gave them a use of force scenario, mirroring encounters our Defenders could face while on-duty.

The Virtra system is a firearms training simulator surrounding the user with 360 degree screens, and fully submerging them into a situation requiring split-second decision making and the appropriate use of force. The system does this by using weapons that utilize CO2 cartridges and a laser tracking system which identifies where your weapon was pointed when it was discharged. It allows trainers the unique opportunity to train, mentor, and correct the trainee in a safe environment.

“It gives you a different perspective about the situations, people, and more specifically law enforcement officers, can experience,” said Cadet Fourth Class Katrina Heil.

Heil was also amazed with how much the 30th SFS cares about training its people with some of the most advanced technology available. The Virtra system does not only test day-to-day scenarios, but also  affords the ability to train on more complex ones, such as active shooter situations, ensuring our Defenders are ready to take on any threat.

After running through the Virtra System, the cadets got to hear from Combat Arms Instructors about the capabilities of the M249 SAW and the M240B MMG. These weapons are commonly used in base defense operations at home station and deployed locations. Combat Arms performed a shooting demonstration with these weapons showing their automatic fire capabilities. Although these cadets may not join the ranks of Security Forces, it’s important to understand how and when these weapons can be employed in support of various Air Force operations.

The cadets' last stop was at the 30th SFS K-9 Section, where they observed a Military Working Dog demonstration. Staff Sgt. Angela Jones, 30th SFS MWD trainer, Staff Sgt. Vaughn Rivard, 30th SFS MWD handler with MWD Zsander, Senior Airman Anthony Torres, 30th SFS MWD handler with MWD Vanda, and Senior Airman Kason Newman, 30th SFS MWD handler with MWD Jager, performed various patrol-based demonstration scenarios. These demonstrations showcased the capabilities that MWDs and civilian K-9 agencies possess and help the public understand their role in Security Forces.

“Military Working Dogs are definitely more obedient than normal dogs and it is amazing to see the training the handlers put into them,” said Cadet Third Class Jameson Au.


Throughout the day, the cadets had the opportunity to witness a small portion of what allows Security Forces to operate as a well-oiled machine. While their tour of Security Forces may have been short, its importance cannot be overstated. These opportunities allow young officers and cadets to see how some units perform their job and work together to accomplish the Air Force mission.

“It has given me a better understanding of Security Forces and the Air Force as a whole,” said Cadet Third Class Matthew Jaworski, an Aerospace Engineer major.

No matter what route the cadets decide to take, there is no doubt that opportunities like these will surely prepare them to be top-notch total force leaders.