Northamptonshire Police partner with RAF Croughton for training
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Firearms officers and instructors from Northamptonshire Police have partnered with American colleagues at RAF Croughton to use land at the airbase for part of their ongoing training.
A selection of Authorised Firearms Officers (AFOs) and trainers were joined by members of the United States Air Force (USAF) 422nd Security Forces Squadron last month as part of a move which will also see members of the USAF use Northamptonshire Police's firearms range facility for their training.
Superintendent Tom Thompson, from Northamptonshire Police's Specialist Operations unit, said: "Using different venues is a good way of enhancing and refreshing training, to make sure officers do not get complacent. It is also a great way to build relationships with other agencies.
"In this case, it allows Northamptonshire Police to use an interesting training area and it allows the United States Air Force to use a local law enforcement venue for their own essential training."
Using land at RAF Croughton has allowed Northamptonshire Police's Authorised Firearms Officers (AFOs) and instructors to conduct training exercises that include 'cover and move', open country searches and other specialist training such as close protection.
Being at RAF Croughton also means the AFOs could fire blank ammunition as well as use stun and smoke grenades.
Northamptonshire Police's Armed Police Training Manager, Sergeant Wayne Dowson said: "Being at RAF Croughton is a great opportunity for us to conduct firearms training in an environment that's suitable for both armed response vehicle training and other specialist firearms training.
"We're able to deploy stun grenades, smoke and fire blank ammunition to further enhance training and better prepare our Officers for the operational environment.
"This is a great venue, secure and away from the public and I'd like to thank RAF Croughton and everyone here for facilitating Northamptonshire Police."
1st Lt George Marte, 422nd SFS operations officer, said: "Our goal is to continue to demonstrate that we are part of the community."
"Training events like this show the local community that here at the 501st Combat Support Wing, we make it a priority to continue to engage and strengthen our relationship with our mission partners through integration and partnership."
Staff Sgt Alvaro Gonzalez, 422nd SFS unit trainer, said: "Events like this are important because it allows defenders to witness different tactics being implemented at all levels.
"As a training instructor, I paid close attention to how the NHPD instructors delivered the training material to their students to add variety to my method of delivery for when I instruct my students.
"The partnership of working with an off-base host nation police agency has invaluably broadened my experience as a defender and a non-commissioned officer in this career field."