Armed police attacked by grenades and smoke bombs in Northamptonshire shootout ... all for a good reason

Our AFOs swap notes with US Air Force in unique training day

Saturday, 24th April 2021, 8:26 pm
Updated Monday, 26th April 2021, 7:50 am

Armed police came under fire from stun and smoke grenades during a dramatic shootout with a squad of American forces personnel.

But don't panic, it was all part of a unique training exercise involving Northamptonshire Police and the US Air Force at RAF Croughton.

Authorised Firearms Officers — AFOs, if you're a Line of Duty fan — and their trainers were joined by members of the USAF 422nd Security Forces Squadron for a realistic fire fight at the base.

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Northamptonshire's crack firearms officers in action at RAF Croughton during their training programme. Photos: Northamptonshire Police

Northamptonshire's Armed Police training manager, Sergeant Wayne Dowson said: "Being at RAF Croughton is a great opportunity for us to conduct firearms training in an environment that's suitable for both armed response vehicle training and other specialist firearms training.

"We're able to deploy stun grenades, smoke and fire blank ammunition to further enhance training and better prepare our officers for the operational environment.

"This is a great venue, secure and away from the public and I'd like to thank RAF Croughton and everyone here for facilitating Northamptonshire Police."

Using open land at RAF Croughton allowed the Police AFOs to conduct training exercises that include 'cover and move', open country searches and other specialist training such as close protection, using blank ammunition as well as use stun and smoke grenades.

Officers had to deal with realistic attacks from missiles during the training programme

USAF personnel will be taking up an offer from Northamptonshire Police to host a future 're-match' and hope the exchange will promote their presence in Northamptonshire and help them learn from the Brits.

First Lt George Marte, 422nd SFS operations officer, said: "Our goal is to continue to demonstrate that we are part of the community."

"Training events like this show the local community that here at the 501st Combat Support Wing, we make it a priority to continue to engage and strengthen our relationship with our mission partners through integration and partnership."

Staff Sgt Alvaro Gonzalez, 422nd SFS unit trainer, added: "Events like this are important because it allows defenders to witness different tactics being implemented at all levels.

"As a training instructor, I paid close attention to how the NHPD instructors delivered the training material to their students to add variety to my method of delivery for when I instruct my students.

"The partnership of working with an off-base host nation police agency has invaluably broadened my experience as a defender and a non-commissioned officer in this career field."