The Air Force Security Forces are the military police of the Air Force and are responsible for keeping people, assets, and resources safe on the Air Force base.
Because of the sensitivity and importance of their roles, these Air Force military police go through rigorous and extensive training in law enforcement and combat tactics.
Their training includes basic military training the use of lethal and non-lethal tactics in detaining a suspect or criminal and providing perimeter security.
Part of the duties of the Security Forces is to protect nuclear or conventional weapons as well as Air Force One from hostile forces. They are also tasked with the responsibility of securing the transfer of military personnel and equipment through unsafe zones in combat areas.
These highly-trained professionals also perform sniper and counter-sniper missions to defend U.S. Air Bases at home and around the world. But to become a member of the Air Force Security Force, there are certain criteria you must meet.
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- Candidates should have at least a High School Diploma, or GED with 15 college credits or GED.
- Must be between the ages of 17 and 39
- Must have a clean criminal history
- Must meet the minimum Air Force ASWAB requirements
- Should have normal color vision
- Must be qualified to bear arms according to AFI 31-207, Arming and Use of Force By Air Force Personnel
- Should have no history of excessive alcohol use, drug abuse, or alcohol related incidents
- No sleep disorders
- No history of ADHD, ADD, or learning disorder
- Should be comfortable working around nuclear weapons
- No history of mood or personality disorders
- Should not be afraid of heights or confined spaces
- No documented record of gang affiliations
- No speech disorder or communication deficiency
- Must possess a valid state driver’s license. It allows you to operate a government motor vehicle.
- Must complete the 8.5 weeks of Basic Military Training
- Must complete a National Agency Check, Local Agency Check, and Credit Check
The Air Force Security Forces are responsible for ensuring the safety of all base weapons, property, and personnel from hostile forces. They are the first line of defense and they maintain the rule of law on all Air Force bases and installations.
From securing the perimeter of the base to being a dog handler, Security Forces personnel are saddled with several duties.
They train dogs in all aspects of canine law enforcement. These dogs are specially trained to sniff drugs, paraphernalia, and explosives as well as track down and bite offenders.
Occasionally, Airmen are assigned to an armory to control and safeguard arms, ammunition, and other equipment.
The roles of an Air Force Security Force Personnel are similar to those of a civilian police officer. Their job description requires them to patrol the base, issue tickets, make traffic stops, and investigate incidents and crime scenes.
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All candidates undergo training at the Air Force Security Forces Academy at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. The training is a 65-day course that teaches students or applicants basic military police functions including missile security, convoy actions, capture and recovery of nuclear weapons, law enforcement, and directing traffic.
Although the course teaches students how to implement deadly force to react to a situation, it also briefs students on non-lethal tactics such as using pepper spray and engaging a person’s pressure points to detain people when needed for lesser crimes and instances.
The Security Forces are also taught how to perform life-saving procedures like CPR when acting as first responders to an accident or disaster situation.
At the Lackland Air Force Base, Security Forces training is broken down into different blocks.
This is the first stage. Here, candidates learn Security Forces’ history, culture, and basic combative skills.
At this stage, candidates go to CATM where they are taught how to handle the M-4 and M-9 firearms.
Here, candidates are given field training where they will carry weapons or participate in simulation rounds.
Students are taught skills to diffuse situations and how to properly enter and clear a room.
After the training is completed, you will be given your assignment and be trained on how to carry out specific tasks related to your assignment.
The following are positions you can hold as an Air Force Security Force Personnel.
1. Combat Arms Training and Maintainance – CATM
These Security Force personnel train the base populace on the use of small arms and maintain, specialize and repair all small arms in the U.S. Air Force inventory.
2. K9 Handler
Also called Canine Officer, trains and work with military K9 dogs in the execution of their duties.
Ravens are specially trained military personnel dedicated to providing security for aircraft and aircrews transiting high terrorist and criminal threat areas.
4. Deployed Aircraft Ground Response Element – DAGRE
A DAGRE is a highly trained Security Forces Air Commando who completes enhanced security for Special Operations Command.
5. Tactical Response Force – TRF
A TRF is a Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) security personnel tasked with protecting USAF weapons/missile bases.
6. Emergency Services Team – EST
ESTs function as the Air Force SWAT team. They are specially trained to respond to incidents such as active shooters, barricaded suspects, hostage-taking, and terrorist attacks.
Listed above are some of the positions available that have specific training and risks associated with them.
Being an Airman comes with great benefits. The benefits the Air Force offers include;
- Free or low-cost medical and dental care
- Paid sick time and 30 days of paid vacation
- Retirement after 30 days of service
- Access to VA benefits from the day you retire
- Earning college credits from the start of your basic training
- The credits you earn in the Security Forces position go directly toward a Criminal Justice Degree
- Tuition assistance programs, if you wish to pursue a degree
- 100% tuition coverage with the Air Force Tuition Assistance Program.
- Food allowance
- Housing allowance. This covers all housing expenses including utilities and maintenance for those who live on base. If you live off base, your housing allowance will be based on your rank, family status, and location.
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The job of an Air Force Security Force specialist is both physical and mentally demanding. Since Security Forces are tasked with the protection of people, assets, and resources of the Air Force, they undergo rigorous training to prepare them for the tasks they are ladened with.
To be a member of the Air Force Security Force, you have to meet certain requirements. This includes having the minimum education required, a clean criminal history, sound mental and physical health, etc.
If you meet the qualifications and pass your training then you can work to hold any of the positions in the USAF.
Of course, training is rigorous but the cause is noble and rewarding.
We wish you all the best!
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