Released: Jul 3, 1997
WASHINGTON -- Security police units were officially redesignated "security forces" units July 1, reflecting new emphasis on their mission of force protection, an integral part of the Air Force core competency of agile combat support.
A career field merger takes effect Oct. 31. The security forces career field will consist of the merged combat arms training and maintenance, security and law enforcement fields.
Merging security police with the combat arms field contributes a cadre of highly skilled ground weapons experts to the force-protection mission, according to Chief Master Sgt. Daryl Janicki, Air Force Security Forces manager.
Security forces will retain the military police mission within the Air Force. When performing this mission, security forces members will continue to be called security police.
Security forces will support the air expeditionary forces by providing the core of the force protection team that includes other Air Force specialties such as civil engineering (including explosive ordinance disposal), communications, intelligence, logistics, transportation, medical and the Office of Special Investigations.
"The Air Force needs its own ground defense force," Janicki said. He said the Khobar Towers bombing a year ago accelerated the transition to the security forces concept: "Security forces provide the secure environment necessary for AEF operations."
The primary purpose of the change is to provide a highly trained, rapidly deployable force protection asset capable of worldwide mobility -- a defense force for the AEFs, according to Janicki. "However," he added, "security forces retain home-station force protection responsibilities."
Force protection will vary by degree at different locations based upon the threat, but, "This mission knows no boundaries of responsibility," Janicki said. "All Air Force people have force-protection responsibilities, but the security forces are the primary 'defender of the force.' We are responsible for the entire installation, its personnel and property."
It's more than a name change, Janicki added. "We have to change our previous concepts of training and operation to perform this mission more efficiently and effectively," he said.
A new career field education and training plan is in development now. The plan merges, expands and improves current security police training programs for present and future security force members. The new training program will produce people who can perform in any area of the security forces mission, the chief explained.
At a time when downsizing has decreased overall force strength, Janicki said there is a need for more security forces, and the chief said the career field is receiving support from senior leadership and the chief of staff.
Janicki noted that security forces will take a new approach to the Air Force security mission.
"We will continue military police functions, but it will not be our primary mission," said Janicki, who believes base residents are used to a higher level of police services not found in civilian communities.
"Right now we devote a lot more resources to traditional law enforcement than the average civilian community, but the restructuring won't result in less protection," he said. "There are many things we do that civilian police don't do.
"We will explore contracting these types of services or transferring responsibility to owners and users, as is the practice in civilian communities. We will use our resources more efficiently to protect installations at home and abroad."