Staff Sgt. Stephen Tyliszczak, an instructor for the National Guard Reaction Force Training, demonstrates how to use another soldier as a brace while holding off the assailant, Sgt. Michael Cortez, with a shield at Camp Niantic, Connecticut, March 11, 2017. Tyliszczak is training the 1048th Medium Truck Company in preparation for their validation lanes. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Kaitlyn Q. Wallace, 130th Public Affairs Detachment, CTARNG)


CAMP NIANTIC, Conn. – Soldiers assigned to the 1048th Medium Truck Company, Connecticut Army National Guard, trained to become a validated National Guard Reaction Force for the state, March 10-12.

The NGRF training focused on riot control, convoy security and troop leading procedures, said Sgt. 1st Class Alex Fatone, Readiness NCO, 1048th MTC.

“As a NGRF validated unit we can be called upon to conduct security of critical infrastructure around the state and support local law enforcement,” said Fatone.

This is the unit’s second time participating in the training.

Soldiers reviewed medical procedures and vehicle movement on the first day of the training.

The second day of training focused on team-building while teaching necessary skills to control crowds. The soldiers created a wall of handheld shields and moved in squads to push back the crowd while maintaining an impenetrable line.

The instructors simulated a riot, charging at the squads and trying to break their line. This afforded the Soldiers a chance to practice group movements in an environment that induced more stress.

The instructors were impressed with how smoothly the training was going and how easily the Soldiers were accomplishing the tasks of the day, said Staff Sgt. Nicholas Triano, a military police officer assigned to the 143rd Regional Support Group and instructor for the training.

Every Soldier should know this training and be able to step in when a situation happens, said Triano.

Some Soldiers were surprised at how hands-on the training was.

“When they told us about the training, I knew there would be shields, but I thought they were just going to talk to us about it, not actually do it,” said Pfc. Jeny Yonjan, a motor transport operator assigned to the 1048th.

In addition to learning to use the shields as a squad, the Soldiers learned how to use a riot baton to deflect blows and regain control of the situation.

Yonjan was confident that the unit would do well at the validation lanes, where all of the new skills would be tested, she said. She enjoyed spending the day learning about what Soldiers in different jobs train for every day.

The validation lanes test the unit at a platoon level, said Fatone. The lanes cover riot control as well as medical procedures in a realistic scenario, preparing the Soldiers for what they may encounter in the line of duty.

“The goal in mind being that we’re here to support the public, support the people of Connecticut,” said Fatone.