HomeNewsArticle Display

Luke combatives training underway

Staff Sgt. Abel Telles, left, 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels specialist, elbows the inner thighs of Staff Sgt. Anthony Cubillo, 56th Maintenance Operations Squadron weapons systems coordinator, in an exercise called "body hardening" at the Combat PT Center at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., during a military combative training course April 5. U.S. Marine Corp. Staff Sgt. Gardy Sylvain, USMC training chief staff NCO, teaches the combative training course which lasts from Apr. 1st to the 23rd.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ronifel Yasay)

Staff Sgt. Abel Telles, left, 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels specialist, elbows the inner thighs of Staff Sgt. Anthony Cubillo, 56th Maintenance Operations Squadron weapons systems coordinator, in an exercise called "body hardening" at the Combat PT Center at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., during a military combative training course April 5. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ronifel Yasay)

Airman 1st Class Eric Gentry, 56th Component Maintenance Squadron avionics apprentice, calls out "down" to give the command to lunge forward in unison during a military combative training course at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., April. 7. Airman Gentry was picked as class leader by combative training course instructor U.S. Marine Corp. Staff Sgt. Gardy Sylvain, Training chief staff NCO.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ronifel Yasay)

Airman 1st Class Eric Gentry, 56th Component Maintenance Squadron avionics apprentice, calls out "down" to give the command to lunge forward in unison during a military combative training course at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., April. 7. Airman Gentry was picked as class leader by combative training course instructor U.S. Marine Corp. Staff Sgt. Gardy Sylvain, Training chief staff NCO. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ronifel Yasay)

Master Sgt. Glen Presswood, 61st Aircraft Maintenance Unit support flight chief, counters Master Sgt. Donaciano Salinas', 56th Medical Support Squadron flight chief of information systems office NCOIC, punch during a military combative training course taught by U.S. Marine Corp. Staff Sgt. Gardy Sylvain, Training chief staff NCO, after a run around Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., April 5. Participants of this course started April 1st and will complete their training by April 23rd.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ronifel Yasay)

Master Sgt. Glen Presswood, 61st Aircraft Maintenance Unit support flight chief, counters Master Sgt. Donaciano Salinas', 56th Medical Support Squadron flight chief of information systems office Noncommissioned Officer in charge, punch during a military combative training course taught by U.S. Marine Corp. Staff Sgt. Gardy Sylvain, Training chief staff NCO at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., April 5. Participants of this course started April 1st and will complete their training by April 23rd. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ronifel Yasay)

Staff Sgt. Paul Amasol, 56th Communications Squadron airfield systems technician, punches Staff Sgt. Abel Telles, 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels specialist, in his stomach during a military combative course held at the Combat PT Center at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., April 5. This session of the training course is called "body hardening" in which one allows the body to adjust to getting hit.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ronifel Yasay)

Staff Sgt. Paul Amasol, left, 56th Communications Squadron airfield systems technician, punches Staff Sgt. Abel Telles, 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels specialist, in his stomach during a military combative course at the Combat PT Center at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., April 5. This session of the training course is called "body hardening" in which one allows the body to adjust to getting hit. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ronifel Yasay)

Matthew Corcoran, left, 56th Force Support Squadron CrossFit Luke group instructor, punches a combat pad held by U.S. Marine Corp. Lance Cpl. Jay Clayton, Bulk Fuel Co. C, 6th Engineer Support Battalion, during their military combative training course at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., April 7. Participants of the course ran around Luke stopping periodically to practice the techniques they learned.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ronifel Yasay)

Matthew Corcoran, left, 56th Force Support Squadron CrossFit group instructor, punches a combat pad held by U.S. Marine Corp. Lance Cpl. Jay Clayton, Bulk Fuel Co. C, 6th Engineer Support Battalion, during their military combative training course at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., April 7. Participants of the course ran around Luke stopping periodically to practice the techniques they learned. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ronifel Yasay)

Staff Sgt. Anthony Cubillo, 56th Maintenance Operations Squadron weapons systems coordinator, throws Staff Sgt. Matthew Sulack, 61st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, to the ground during a military combative training course April 5. The techniques learned during this course opens an opportunity for Airmen to progress to a tan, gray, or even green belt in martial arts.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ronifel Yasay)

Staff Sgt. Anthony Cubillo, right, 56th Maintenance Operations Squadron weapons systems coordinator, throws Staff Sgt. Matthew Sulack, 61st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, to the ground during a military combative training course April 5. The techniques learned during this course provides an opportunity for Airmen to progress to a tan, gray, or even green belt in martial arts. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ronifel Yasay)

Staff Sgt. Ryan Cobb, 56th Communications Squadron airfield systems technician, kicks Matthew Corcoran, 56th Force Support Squadron CrossFit Luke group instructor, in an exercise called "body hardening" in which the individual's body adjusts to getting hit at the Combat PT Center at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., April 5 during a military combative training course. U.S. Marine Corp. Staff Sgt. Gardy Sylvain, USMC training chief staff NCO, teaches the combative training course which lasts from Apr. 1st to the 23rd.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ronifel Yasay)

Staff Sgt. Ryan Cobb, left, 56th Communications Squadron airfield systems technician, kicks Matthew Corcoran, 56th Force Support Squadron CrossFit group instructor, in an exercise called "body hardening" in which the individual's body adjusts to getting hit at the Combat PT Center at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., April 5 during a military combative training course. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ronifel Yasay)

Staff Sgt. Abel Telles, right, 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels specialist, executes a rear choke to Staff Sgt. Wesley Thurner, 56th Communications Squadron assistant NCOIC of voice network service, during his tan belt performance test in military combative training course at the Combat PT Center at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., April 5. Completion of this test earns participants a tan belt in martial arts.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ronifel Yasay)

Staff Sgt. Abel Telles, right, 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels specialist, executes a rear choke to Staff Sgt. Wesley Thurner, 56th Communications Squadron assistant Noncommissioned Officer in charge of voice network service, during his tan belt performance test in military combative training course at the Combat PT Center at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., April 5. Completion of this test earns participants a tan belt in martial arts. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ronifel Yasay)

Participants of a military combative training course form a line and perform lunges across a field in unison near the Silver Wings pool at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., April 5. This exercise helps construct team building skills as well as physical fitness in combative attire.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ronifel Yasay)

Participants of a military combative training course form a line and perform lunges across a field in unison near the Silver Wings pool at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., April 5. This exercise helps construct team building skills as well as physical fitness in combative attire. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ronifel Yasay)

Staff Sgt. Matthew Sulack, left, 61st Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew chief, engages in a pugil stick match with Matthew Corcoran, 56th Force Support Squadron CrossFit Luke group instructor, during a military combative training course taught by U.S. Marine Corp. Staff Sgt. Gardy Sylvain at the softball field at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., April 6. The course began April 1 and will conclude April 23.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ronifel Yasay)
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 10 of 14

Staff Sgt. Matthew Sulack, left, 61st Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew chief, engages in a pugil stick match with Matthew Corcoran, 56th Force Support Squadron CrossFit group instructor, during a military combative training course taught by U.S. Marine Corp. Staff Sgt. Gardy Sylvain April 6 at Luke AFB, Ariz. The course began April 1 and will conclude April 23. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ronifel Yasay)

Master Sgt. Glen Presswood, left, 61st Aircraft Maintenance Unit support flight chief, receives a pugil stick hit from Staff Sgt. Jesus Artesi, 56th Medical Support Squadron information technology specialist, during a military combative training course taught by U.S. Marine Corp. Staff Sgt. Gardy Sylvain, Training chief staff NCO, on the softball field of Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., April 6. The combative training course began April 1st and will continue until April 23rd.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ronifel Yasay)
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 11 of 14

Master Sgt. Glen Presswood, left, 61st Aircraft Maintenance Unit support flight chief, receives a pugil stick hit from Staff Sgt. Jesus Artesi, 56th Medical Support Squadron information technology specialist, during a military combative training course at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., April 6. The combative training course began April 1st and will continue until April 23rd. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ronifel Yasay)

Tech. Sgt. Shannon Wood, 372nd Training Squadron Detachment 12 production supervisor, delivers a blow with his pugil stick to Staff Sgt. Anthony Cubillo, 56th Maintenance Operations Squadron weapons systems coordinator, during a military combative training course taught by U.S. Marine Corp. Staff Sgt. Gardy Sylvain, Training chief staff NCO, at the base softball field on Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., April 6. The course started April 1 and will continue until April 23. Participants will have an opportunity to earn a green belt by the end of the course.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ronifel Yasay)
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 12 of 14

Tech. Sgt. Shannon Wood, 372nd Training Squadron Detachment 12 production supervisor, delivers a blow with his pugil stick to Staff Sgt. Anthony Cubillo, 56th Maintenance Operations Squadron weapons systems coordinator, during a military combative training course taught at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., April 6. The course started April 1 and will continue until April 23. Participants will have an opportunity to earn a green belt by the end of the course. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ronifel Yasay)

Staff Sgt. Ryan Cobb, left, 56th Communications Squadron airfield systems technician, positions himself to continue "building a house." This event involves squad team members contructing a human-made tunnel allowing team members to crawl underneath one another as conditioning for a military combative training course held at the Combat PT Center, Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., April 7.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ronifel Yasay)
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 13 of 14

Staff Sgt. Ryan Cobb, left, 56th Communications Squadron airfield systems technician, positions himself to continue "building a house." This event involves squad team members contructing a human-made tunnel allowing team members to crawl underneath one another as conditioning for a military combative training course held at the Combat PT Center, Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., April 7. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ronifel Yasay)

Marine Corp. Gunnery Sgt. Anthony Haechler, left, Hazardous Material/Environmental Services Division team leader, executes a foot sweep and chest thrust to Gunnery Sgt. Daniel Hernandez, Hazardous Material/Environmental Services Division assistant team leader, during their military combative training course at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., April 7. The two squads ran around Luke Air Force Base stopping periodically to practice techniques they have learned during the course.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ronifel Yasay)
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 14 of 14

Marine Corp. Gunnery Sgt. Anthony Haechler, left, Hazardous Material/Environmental Services Division team leader, executes a foot sweep and chest thrust to Gunnery Sgt. Daniel Hernandez, Hazardous Material/Environmental Services Division assistant team leader, during their military combative training course at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., April 7. The two squads ran around Luke Air Force Base stopping periodically to practice techniques they have learned during the course. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ronifel Yasay)

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- Grass stained Airman Battle Uniform trousers and blouses darkened with sweat are standard attire. Football helmets, pugil sticks and pads almost three feet tall by six inches deep designed to absorb punches and kicks are tools of the trade. And they are lucky, it is only 75 degrees outside.

Twelve Airmen from differing career fields began a three week course April 1 learning combatives with Marine Corps instructors on Luke Air Force Base. The training is designed to teach Airmen skills used in combat, for self defense and work on physical training.

"So far it's going great and they're learning a lot of stuff they never knew existed," said Pernell Stoney, 56th Force Support Squadron Fitness Center director. "It's some really good training in that it builds up stamina and teaches the basic hand-to-hand movements. Many of the movements can also be used with a rifle in the event they're in a war zone and run out of bullets."

Some of the training includes learning hand-to-hand combat skills, pugil stick fighting and rifle maneuvers, all of which can be used in combat among other places. The trainees also run to and from each event in ABUs, helmets and body armor while carrying some of the equipment that will be used in other events.

"We're definitely getting our butts kicked, and I think everyday gets a little harder, but we just get used to it," said Airman 1st Class Eric Gentry, 56th Component Maintenance Squadron avionics apprentice. "Single events alone don't break you down but when you do them one after another at a fast pace it becomes really hard."

Each day starts at 6 a.m., ends at about 11:30 a.m. and is scheduled to conclude April 23. The trainees wrapped up testing for their tan-belts Thursday and will earn a green-belt by the time they finish the course. The intent is that Airmen learning from the Marines stationed at Luke will then teach these techniques in their units beginning in May.

Airmen Gentry joined the Air Force less than two years ago and said another benefit of the course is the leadership experience he has gained.

"We were all standing there at the end of the first day and the instructor looks around, points at me and says, 'You're the class leader'," Airman Gentry said. "I have a feeling it's because I was the lowest ranking. This is a very new experience leadership wise, because it's demanding mentally and physically."

Mr. Stoney said the goal of the program is to train Airmen on base so they can teach Airmen from their units what they learned. He plans on having another formal training session like this one in the near future.
"The training brings the whole warrior concept into full focus," Airman Gentry said. "I wish more of the Air Force could do this. It brings people together. We've been together for three days and I feel closer to some of these guys than I do with even some in my shop. Physical activity brings people together and I think that really helps with the whole concept of being Airmen, or Marines in their case.