XLer of the week: Staff Sgt. James Shanahan

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman John A. Crawford
  • 47th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

Staff Sgt. James Shanahan, 47th Security Forces Squadron trainer, was chosen by wing leadership to be the “XLer of the week” of Jan. 27, 2020 at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas.

Shanahan is the 47th SFS’s sole trainer responsible for all Security Forces “Phase-1” initial training for new Airmen arriving to Laughlin either from their previous base or from the Security Forces technical training school at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

“Phase-1 is to get new arrivals oriented to how we operate at Laughlin,” Shanahan said. “Whether they’re coming from tech school and had a taste of law enforcement, or if they’re coming from another base that has different resources, it’s my job to make sure they understand the policies and procedures for Laughlin specifically, as well as making sure they’re ready to go when they get to their flights.”

Shanahan also revived a 100,000 square foot area, updating ten “Shoot-Move-Communicate” firing courses and provided over 34 hours of combat readiness training to approximately 40 personnel.

“For the ‘Shoot-Move-Communicate’ course, we will take the defender’s issued weapons and modify them to fire non-lethal training ammunition,” Shanahan said. “A recent training was a force-on-force with paintball masks, where one group had to defend an objective from another group. The training teaches good communication between your team members and using cover and concealment.”

Shanahan graduated an 88-hour leader-led training course where he used his knowledge to certify approximately 15 flight personnel on baton, taser and combatives training.

“The course was located at Fort Bliss, Texas, where we were instructed on not only the baton, taser and combatives training, but also on how to teach what we learned to small and medium sized groups,” Shanahan said. “Physically it was intense, the instructors want you to perform under pressure when you’re physically tired as if you’re in a real fight. It was a really good experience.”

Shanahan has earned this “XLer of the week” for providing entry training to newly arrived Security Forces Airmen, ensuring Team XL Defenders are prepared and certified in their knowledge of physical policing training, and providing courses to Laughlin Security Forces personnel to encourage and facilitate communication under duress training.