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Tyndall partners with Bay County Sheriff’s Office on driving course

white car drives down road with two police vehicles trailing

A mock suspect vehicle evades 325th Security Forces Squadron Airmen through a driving course during a staged pursuit at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Dec. 17, 2020. The Emergency Vehicle Operations Course was held in partnership with the Bay County Sheriff’s Office and provided valuable training on driving maneuvers and vehicle handling to the 325th SFS. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Kayla Fitzgerald)

police car chases white car

A 325th Security Forces Squadron patrol vehicle pursues a suspect vehicle during a mock chase at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Dec. 17, 2020. The chase was part of an Emergency Vehicle Operations Course held in partnership with the Bay County Sheriff’s Office. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Kayla Fitzgerald)

man runs from police car

An instructor with the Bay County Sheriff’s Office bails out of a suspect vehicle during a mock chase at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Dec. 17, 2020. The chase was part of an Emergency Vehicle Operations Course designed to provide 325th Security Forces Squadron Airmen with the skills needed to quickly and safely respond to incidents. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Kayla Fitzgerald)

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

Airmen with the 325th Security Forces Squadron and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations Detachment 223 participated in an Emergency Vehicle Operations Course at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Dec. 17, 2020.

The course, held in conjunction with the Bay County Sheriff’s Office, is one of five partnerships between Tyndall and Bay County.

“We are very excited to begin this new community partnership with the Bay County Sheriff’s Office,” said Capt. Jen Blanton, 325th SFS operations officer. “We look forward to this being the first step in developing future partnerships that benefit the 325 SFS, Tyndall Air Force Base and our community partners at the Bay County Sheriff’s Office.”

The Bay County Sheriff’s Office had previously held their Emergency Vehicle Operations Course at Gulf Coast State College, and this was the first time it was hosted at the 823rd RED HORSE Squadron Detachment 1’s Silver Flag training complex.

“The biggest advantage to holding the course on Tyndall is the larger land area,” said Staff Sgt. Michael McDowell, 325th SFS trainer. “The Silver Flag complex allows us to use the mock taxiways and runway to allow more realistic and scenario-driven training.”

The partnership is mutually beneficial, as deputies from sheriff’s office gain access to a unique training environment and Tyndall’s Airmen are able to learn skills from expert instructors. Students received specific training on driving maneuvers and vehicle handling. The course finished with a pursuit navigating through a mock version of city roads and ended with either a foot chase or high risk traffic stop.

“This course will provide security forces the necessary skills to quickly respond to incidents, to include possible vehicle pursuits throughout Tyndall’s 29,000 square acres and 16 miles of concurrent highway jurisdiction on Highway 98 in a professional and safe manner,” said McDowell.

Approximately 40 Tyndall personnel and 200 Bay County deputies will participate in the initial training course which will continue over three weeks.

“This partnership is a huge win for both the community and Tyndall, enhancing our networking and future training opportunities [and giving] all involved the ability to get to any crisis event in a safe and responsive manner,” said McDowell.