Osan enhances defense with Combat Readiness Course

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Thomas Sjoberg
  • 51 Fighter Wing Public Affairs
As the U.S. Air Force's most forward-deployed permanently based fighter wing, the 51st Fighter Wing plays a pivotal role in maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. Its mission encompasses three critical components: defending the installation, executing contingency operations and sustaining the force. Central to achieving this mission is the Combat Readiness Course, an intensive 10-day training designed to equip Airmen with the necessary skills for effective base defense and combat readiness.

Developed by the 51st Security Forces Squadron, the CRC is a theater specific training that brings together Airmen from across Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea. It combines advanced combat tactics, critical life saving skills and elite physical conditioning to forge Airmen into multi-capable defenders of the base.

“The Combat Readiness Course is designed to keep our Airmen lethal and prepared to face any threat they may encounter,” said U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. James Tavenner, 51st SFS senior enlisted leader. “By extending beyond the 51st SFS to include Airmen from diverse career fields across the installation, we’re building a comprehensive defense framework, and developing Mission Ready Airmen prepared to tackle any challenge and deter any adversary.”

Throughout the training, Airmen are equipped with a wide array of crucial skills like weapon safety and manipulation, tactical combat casualty care, and both mounted and dismounted operations. They also exercise their skills in close quarters combat, handling adversarial prisoners of war, chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high-yield explosives response, along with vital skills in radio communication and reporting. This all-encompassing approach ensures participants are fully prepared to support base defense and uphold the 51st FW’s operational readiness.

Not only does the CRC provide essential combat and defense skills, but it also fosters a sense of unity and collaboration among participants. Senior Airman Ethan McGregor, 51st Logistics Readiness Squadron aircraft parts store journeyman and recent CRC graduate, reflected on his experience.

“The course prepared me to overcome any obstacle,” McGregor said. “Working alongside Airmen from other squadrons was invaluable. We built strong ties that will improve how we operate together when it counts.”

Staff Sgt. Zachary Wales, 51st SFS training instructor, reflected on the transformative experience the course offers, and watching students complete the 5-mile graduation ruck march.

“The most rewarding aspect of teaching the course is witnessing the remarkable growth in our students,” Wales said. “From day one to the completion of the course, their evolution in skills and confidence is remarkable. We conclude the course with a 5-mile graduation ruck march, where students' get to showcase the enhanced physical endurance and combat readiness that they’ve built through the rigorous training.”

As the 51st FW looks to the future, plans are underway to expand the CRC, opening participation to the broader Wing and integrating with Republic of Korea Air Force partners.

Through the CRC, the 51st FW’s focus on readiness remains clear, ensuring that Airmen are prepared to defend Osan AB and serve as a deterrent to any adversary threatening peace in the ROK.

“This comprehensive combat course showcases the 51st FW’s readiness and resilience,” Tavenner said. “Undertaking such an extensive program with limited resources and manpower unequivocally proves our unwavering commitment to defend this installation.”