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Andrews EST brings organized chaos to the force

Senior Airman Gabriell Vieira, 11th Security Forces Squadron elite guardsman and Andrews Emergency Services Team member, takes control of his sector of responsibility during an anti-hijacking exercise conducted Nov. 9, 2012, at the Joint Training Facility at Baltimore Washington International Airport, Md. The exercise was a joint effort between the Andrews Emergency Services Team and the Raven team where they practiced tubular assaults during a mock hijacking scenario. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Bahja J. Jones)

Senior Airman Gabriell Vieira, 11th Security Forces Squadron elite guardsman and Andrews Emergency Services Team member, takes control of his sector of responsibility during an anti-hijacking exercise conducted Nov. 9, 2012, at the Joint Training Facility at Baltimore Washington International Airport, Md. The exercise was a joint effort between the Andrews Emergency Services Team and the Raven team where they practiced tubular assaults during a mock hijacking scenario. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Bahja J. Jones)

Senior Airman Daniel Ruiz, 11th Security Forces Squadron elite guardsman and Andrews Emergency Services Team member, and Staff Sgt. Greg Twigg, 11th SFS response force leader and Andrews EST member, lead a tubular assault during an anti-hijacking exercise conducted Nov. 9, 2012, at the Joint Training Facility at Baltimore Washington International Airport, Md. The Andrews EST and Raven team conducted the training in a decommissioned Boeing 757 and used simunitions, or “dummy rounds” to create a more realistic atmosphere. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Bahja J. Jones)

Senior Airman Daniel Ruiz, 11th Security Forces Squadron elite guardsman and Andrews Emergency Services Team member, and Staff Sgt. Greg Twigg, 11th SFS response force leader and Andrews EST member, lead a tubular assault during an anti-hijacking exercise conducted Nov. 9, 2012, at the Joint Training Facility at Baltimore Washington International Airport, Md. The Andrews EST and Raven team conducted the training in a decommissioned Boeing 757 and used simunitions, or “dummy rounds” to create a more realistic atmosphere. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Bahja J. Jones)

Staff Sgt. Jason Leavens, 811th Security Forces Squadron Raven and Andrews Emergency Services Team member, controls an Airman acting as an opposing force during an anti-hijacking training exercise Nov. 9, 2012, at the Joint Training Facility at Baltimore Washington International Airport, Md. The exercise was a joint effort between the Andrews EST and the Raven team where they practiced tubular assaults during a mock hijacking scenario.   (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Bahja J. Jones)

Staff Sgt. Jason Leavens, 811th Security Forces Squadron Raven and Andrews Emergency Services Team member, controls an Airman acting as an opposing force during an anti-hijacking training exercise Nov. 9, 2012, at the Joint Training Facility at Baltimore Washington International Airport, Md. The exercise was a joint effort between the Andrews EST and the Raven team where they practiced tubular assaults during a mock hijacking scenario. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Bahja J. Jones)

Staff Sgt. Greg Twigg, 11th Security Forces Squadron response force leader and Andrews Emergency Services Team member, controls his sector of fire during an anti-hijacking exercise Nov. 9, 2012, at the Joint Training Facility at Baltimore Washington International Airport, Md. The Andrews EST and Raven team conducted the training in a decommissioned Boeing 757 and used simunitions, or “dummy rounds” to create a more realistic atmosphere. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Bahja J. Jones)

Staff Sgt. Greg Twigg, 11th Security Forces Squadron response force leader and Andrews Emergency Services Team member, controls his sector of fire during an anti-hijacking exercise Nov. 9, 2012, at the Joint Training Facility at Baltimore Washington International Airport, Md. The Andrews EST and Raven team conducted the training in a decommissioned Boeing 757 and used simunitions, or “dummy rounds” to create a more realistic atmosphere. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Bahja J. Jones)

Tech. Sgt. Joshua Behm, 11th Security Forces Squadron NCO in charge of the Andrews Emergency Services Team, briefs the Andrews EST on the takeaways from their exercise conducted Nov. 9, 2012, at the Joint Training Facility at Baltimore Washington International Airport, Md. The Andrews EST is made up of volunteer Security Forces Airmen provide a high level of emergency response outside of the normal scope of regular Security Forces duties. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Bahja J. Jones)

Tech. Sgt. Joshua Behm, 11th Security Forces Squadron NCO in charge of the Andrews Emergency Services Team, briefs the Andrews EST on the takeaways from their exercise conducted Nov. 9, 2012, at the Joint Training Facility at Baltimore Washington International Airport, Md. The Andrews EST is made up of volunteer Security Forces Airmen provide a high level of emergency response outside of the normal scope of regular Security Forces duties. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Bahja J. Jones)

An Emergency Services Team member takes down a mock hijacker during an anti-high jacking exercise Nov. 9, 2012 at the Joint Training Facility at Baltimore Washington International Airport, Md. The exercise was a joint effort between the Andrews EST and the Raven team where they practiced tubular assaults during a mock hijacking scenario. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Bahja J. Jones)

An Emergency Services Team member takes down a mock hijacker during an anti-high jacking exercise Nov. 9, 2012 at the Joint Training Facility at Baltimore Washington International Airport, Md. The exercise was a joint effort between the Andrews EST and the Raven team where they practiced tubular assaults during a mock hijacking scenario. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Bahja J. Jones)

BALTIMORE WASHINGTON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, Md. -- Blacked-out suits and weapons drawn, the Joint Base Andrews Emergency Services Team stormed the decommissioned Boeing 757 aircraft during a joint training exercise with the 811th Security Forces Raven team Nov. 9 at the Joint Training Facility at Baltimore Washington International Airport, Md.

"Hands on your face! Hands on your face!" team members shouted, commanding the attention of passengers and opposing forces.

The EST members swept the plane using what was called a tubular assault, controlling simulated rogue and frightened passengers and staff in random scenarios. Despite the distracting screams and firing of "dummy rounds", the team maintained control and demanded compliance.

"We create chaos to establish order," said Tech. Sgt. David Wood, 11th Security Forces Squadron assistant NCO in charge of the Emergency Services Team.

Each member immersed themselves in the exercise, treating it as if it were a real world occurrence until the command "terminate" was given.

So, who is this motivated group of Airmen?

The Andrews EST is a hand-selected volunteer force. Interested security forces defenders, gate guardsmen, response force leaders, patrolmen and Ravens can apply and are eligible for selection after meeting several requirements. Selection is also based on previous job performance ratings and recommendations.

"Each Airman puts together a hiring package, which includes letter of intent, chain of command concurrence, physical fitness assessment history, last three Enlisted Performance Reports and any letters of recommendation they would like to include," said Tech Sgt. Joshua Behm, 11th SFS NCO in charge of EST. "The potential selectees are put through a three-day evaluation, weapons firing, board and basic concepts of training. At anytime throughout the three days, they can be turned down for failure, subpar performance, or they can quit on their own."

This team is particularly impressive based upon the fact that they have limited opportunities to practice their skills as it is a volunteer force, said Wood.

"The Andrews EST has coordinated practice twice a month," said Behm. "The team members volunteer their off-duty time for training and other tasks."

These high-caliber Airmen are picked from the best among the Security Forces, and then trained to do very high-level tasks, said Behm.

"[They] are trained, equipped and armed to provide enhanced security response to high risk situations and developing threats," said Capt. Ryan Barton, 811th Security Forces Squadron operations officer and Andrews EST officer in charge. "For lack of a better term, they are in essence the military version of SWAT."

In fact, the Andrews EST team works closely with a number of outside agencies who are considered experts in tactical operations to hone their skills.

"The Andrews EST conducts joint training with local SWAT teams, FBI, Pentagon Police, Capitol Police, Department of Homeland Security, Army Special Reaction Teams and other notable agencies," said Barton.

The training exercise on Nov. 9 was a prime example of the joint training missions. The Andrews EST not only worked in conjunction with the Raven team here, but also received advice and oversight from civilian evaluators who were present. Those types of exercises are key to maintaining a well-trained and capable force.

"The importance of this type of training cannot be stressed enough and applies to all security elements on JBA," said Barton. "It is imperative that we train to a level that is as close to real as possible in order to perfect response tactics, while simulating the stresses of a real world event.

"Additionally, conducting joint training with other teams allows for cross flow of tactics and response measures. It allows development and perfection of joint standard operating procedures including communications (both verbal and non verbal), coordination, expectations, and assignment of specific roles and responsibilities for each team and team member."