The 325th Force Support Squadron: Women's Self-Defense Course

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Zachary Nordheim
  • 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

With Checkertail families in mind, the 325th Force Support Squadron utilizes resources in the local community to increase quality of life through unique classes and workshops.

In co-operation with the Bay County Sheriff’s Office, 325th FSS will now be holding women’s self-defense classes on Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida.

“This class is for the women of Tyndall to learn [lifesaving] skills to defend themselves should the need ever arise,” said Rebecca Gestrich, 325th Force Support Squadron community readiness consultant. “Last year we did a couple courses at BCSO. This is the first time we’re bringing this course on the installation.”

With the resources and support from the local community, Tyndall has offered unique workshops to more Airmen and their families.

“This program has been in existence for about five years,” said Deputy Sheriff Mario Lupica, BCSO community services division. “It’s gone through a couple different versions and this is the most up-to-date.”

In a two-hour course, participants can learn proper techniques to properly defend one’s self from an attacker. Here they learn what a real-world scenario might look like, drills to practice, as well as resources available to them. At the end of the workshop, participants are put through a one-minute drill to utilize the skills they learned in a realistic scenario.

“It’s all about mindset,” said Lupica. “When we do the minute drill, and it pushes them. It gives them a little bit of stress and a little bit of a reality check. I’ve seen people that were very timid and meek at the first part [of class], and once they get rolling they come out of their shell.”

This workshop not only teaches individuals situational awareness but it also provides an opportunity for family bonding. Allowing families to take the course together not only strengthens their self-defense skills but also makes the first stepping stone to safety a more comfortable transition.  

“Anything that is going to make us feel safer and feel more confident, I think is beneficial to Tyndall families,” said Gestrich. “It’s really focusing on being cognizant of our surroundings. Let’s be smart and let’s trust our instincts.”