Snapshot of a defender

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Justin R. Norton
  • 302nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Reservists have a personal responsibility to perform their jobs at the same level of proficiency as their active duty counterparts, which can be a challenge. Thankfully, the Air Force Reserve employs experienced full-time reservists like Tech. Sgt. Carlos Gonzalez to meet that challenge.

Gonzalez is the 302nd Security Forces Squadron unit training manager who ensures the 302nd Airlift Wing defenders are trained equipped and ready to deploy.

Gonzalez is a graduate of the Phoenix Raven program, a specialized security forces training curriculum designed to teach Airmen how to protect aircrew and aircraft during airlift missions with heightened security needs.

Before taking on the responsibility of unit training manager, Gonzalez included some of these specialized skills in classes he conducted for security forces defenders. He taught Airmen how to deescalate hostile situations and resolve conflicts without physical confrontations.

“We spent a lot of time in Raven school learning tactics on how to deescalate situations and I think it’s very important to incorporate into training,” said Gonzalez. “It’s an outstanding tool to have.”

Gonzalez says is always seeking ways to improve himself for his Airmen. He believes by setting a good example and establishing credibility as a proficient defender, the Airmen in his squadron will follow suit.

“If I could have a squadron full of people like him, it would be phenomenal,” said Chief Master Sgt. Michael Gettman, 302nd SFS security forces manager, also a graduate of the Phoenix Raven program.

Gonzalez was inspired by his father’s service in the Army National Guard, but joined the Air Force Reserve in 2008 after getting a firsthand look at Peterson Air Force Base. He has been with the 302nd Airlift Wing ever since.

“Growing up while seeing my dad in uniform and seeing him go to Iraq and come back, and after 9/11, I knew I wanted to serve,” said Gonzalez.

Gonzalez now holds a full-time position with the 302nd AW and manages the training of all the wing’s Reserve Citizen Airman defenders.

“This unit has been a big part of my life for the past 10 years, and I’m just grateful for the opportunity to be able to work here full time and represent the squadron,” said Gonzalez. “It’s a great opportunity to help develop our Airmen to be better NCOs and leaders.”