2020 National Meeting Canceled

 
Dear AFSFA Members:
 
The health and safety of our members, conference attendees, presenters, partners, and AFSFA staff is our highest priority.  We have been closely monitoring the coronavirus impact and status throughout the United States and listening to you through the recent survey sent out to all AFSFA members.
 
The AFSFA Board of Directors held a conference call on 15 July 2020 and after much review, dialogue, and following the guidance from the President's administration, CDC, and state and local health authorities, the AFSFA Board of Directors has determined that it is in the best interest of our national meeting attendees to cancel the 2020 National Meeting scheduled for 23-27 September 2020 in Dayton, Ohio.
 
We took into consideration the recent uptick in reported cases in many areas, the age and underlying health conditions of our members, quarantine issues in many states that may restrict travel, potential health risks in public transportation to and from the meeting and at the meeting and the pure difficulty of keeping your social distance after travelling many miles to visit life-long friends that we may see once a year.
 
Up to just a few weeks ago the board felt a national meeting was still possible with little risk to attendees. However, the COVID-19 spikes seen across the country and even in the Dayton, Ohio area clearly dictate we just cannot take that risk and that cancelling the national meeting is the socially responsible and right decision for the safety of our meeting attendees and the host community.
 
For those that have already made room reservations at the Crowne Plaza in Dayton, using the SEC group code your reservations will be cancelled automatically with no penalty. If you made reservations through an online booking service you will need to call the hotel at 937-229-9835 to cancel your reservation.
 
While not being able to meet physically is very disappointing to us all, AFSFA has started planning a short, half-day virtual meeting that registered members can view live on 26 Saturday 2020 on your computer, tablet or smart phone that would include two presentations, reading of the Last Guardmount list, the annual installation of board members and announcement of the Hall of Fame, Bullock Service Award and Chapter of the Year. We do not want 2020 to be a complete blank in the AFSFA history. You will hear more about the 2020 AFSFA Virtual National Meeting in the next two weeks. 
 
Registration packages, ballots and nomination forms will be mailed to you just like every year.
 
And of course, work has already started for the 2021 National Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee 17-22 August 2021.
 
Thanks again for your membership and stay safe.
 
Respectfully,
 
John W. Probst, Col (ret), USAF                           
AFSFA Executive Director
 
James R. Saulnier, MSgt (ret), USAF
AFSFA President                               
 
 
 

Security Forces Airmen Enable Mission at Travis

TSgt James Hodgman, 60th Air Mobility Wing, Public Affairs, 29 May 2020, Travis Tailwind

Editor’s note: This is the first of a three-part series on security forces at Travis AFB.

U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Cameron Otte U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Hannah Hoskins, 60th Security Forces Squadron entry controller, watches vehicles as they approach the main gate May 11 at Travis Air Force Base, California. Security forces Airmen at Travis AFB protect thousands of people and essential resources for three wings. 

Imagine it’s Wednesday evening and you are a security forces Airman assigned to perform entry control duties at the main gate at Travis Air Force Base, California.

Suddenly, a vehicle approaches the gate on fire. You and your fellow defenders quickly find cover and report the incident. Soon the emergency control center informs you that backup is on the way, along with firefighters and the explosive ordnance disposal team.

This was the reality for Airmen assigned to the 60th Security Forces Squadron who were performing entry control duties at the main gate of Travis AFB March 21, 2018. Their swift response helped avert a potential catastrophe, as the vehicle never made it past the gate.

Security forces Airmen are responsible for protecting people and resources at Air Force installations in the United States and around the world.

“You never know what’s going to happen, so you always have to be alert,” said Airman 1st Class Hannah Hoskins, 60th SFS installation entry controller. “We have to be on our toes at all times.”

Another incident occurred in December 2017, just five days before Christmas.

“An individual sped through one of our gates at speeds nearing 100 mph,” said Tech. Sgt. Christopher Schultz, a 60th SFS flight chief. “We quickly dispatched patrols and apprehended the driver and four others.”

The patrols found alcoholic beverages, marijuana and a shotgun in the suspect’s vehicle.

Hoskins said security forces Airmen have a great deal of responsibility.

“We ensure our installation is safe at all times,” she said. “One way we do that is by denying base access to anyone who doesn’t meet entry requirements.

We also ensure traffic laws are enforced. With the coronavirus pandemic, we have implemented a number of measures to ensure the safety of our defenders and the public.”

The 60th SFS requires Airmen performing entry security to wear masks and gloves to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, protecting both defenders and visitors to the installation. Those defenders, who complete an average of 6,000 ID checks a day, use an electronic device to scan ID cards known as the Defense Biometric Identification System, said Schultz.

“Right now, we don’t physically handle ID cards,” said Airman 1st Class Jason Nguyen, 60th SFS installation entry controller. “Individuals hold their ID cards while we scan them with DBIDS.” 

The system is one way security forces verifies base access for each person requesting entry, including civilians and contractors, Nguyen said.

Hoskins recalled an incident when an individual refused to turn his car around, after discovering the driver did not have the valid identification needed to access the base.

“He was angry and insisted he was going to drive through the gate,” Hoskins said. “I called for backup, and I had help there immediately. Eventually, he calmed down, and we briefed him about his license, as well as base entry procedures. Shortly after that, he drove away from the gate.”

The defenders at Travis AFB provide security for thousands of people and resources valued at approximately $11 billion. The security they provide helps enable successfully operations every day. Since Feb. 1, Team Travis, which is home to the largest mobility wing in the Air Force, has supported more than 500 missions.

Schultz stressed, that despite the pandemic, 60th SFS Airmen will continue to provide a safe and secure environment for Team Travis.

“Our Airmen at the gates are our first line of defense for the installation,” Schultz said.

“They keep a watchful eye for anything that may happen and that will not change. Often, they are the only experience people have with our base or the Air Force. They are highly trained and focused on ensuring the safety and security of our installation.

“Our No. 1 priority is securing our mission and protecting our people,” Hoskins added. “We have several assets at our base, and many Airmen and families call Travis home. We are family, and you never want anything to threaten your family. We are here to protect one another.”

MARCH AIR RESERVE BASE, CA, UNITED STATES

Story by TSgt Nick Kibbey, 1st Combat Camera Squadron, 20 February 2020

The Air Force Reserve Command announces the 452nd Security Forces Squadron as the 2019 Security Forces Base Operations Support Unit of the Year on February 7, 2020.

The award acknowledges the exceptional accomplishments and performance of the squadron in providing safety and security to March Air Reserve Base and the local community over the past year.

“We’ve had a busy year providing security for everything from an F-16 crash to deploying 90 defenders in support of operations in the Middle East,” said Senior Master Sgt. Ruben Lopez, the 452d SFS operations superintendent. “Our success is due to great communication, teamwork and the support of our leadership from top to bottom to put the mission first. 

It’s the ability to put the mission first by every Airman that builds trust within the squadron to execute security objectives as professionals. 

“We rely heavily on our training as Airmen to set us up for success in performing our mission, and I have full confidence in my team’s abilities,” said Maj. Jessica Wruck, 452nd SFS commander. “I’m extremely happy and proud to lead this squadron, and this award shows that it’s not about the effort of one individual, but a testament of accomplishment by a true team.”

The 452nd SFS won the award for the AFRC and now competes at the Air Reserve Component level, which includes Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard forces, for top honors in the Air Force.

UPDATE:

Defender Nation – please join us in congratulating the 452d Security Forces Squadron as the AFRC 2019 Unit of the Year Award winners, March ARB, CA. Was able to finally get out and make the presentation even with the COVID challenges. Huge congrats to this team and team March!

v/r Brig Gen Collins

134 SFS Defenders Win at the Army’s Best Warrior Competition

“Defender Nation…please join me in congratulating these Defenders at McGhee Tyson ANG, TN from the 134 SFS! SSgt Cody Watson won 1st place and SSgt Kourtni Giles placed 4th overall at the Army’s Best Warrior Competition held in Tullahoma, TN 26-28 June! HUA!”

VR – Brig Gen Collins

Air Force Awards Contract for Improved Female Body Armor

By Daryl Mayer, AFLCMC Public Affairs,  Published 17 June 2020

 

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio (AFLCMC) – The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Female Fitment Program Office has awarded a contract to begin production and development for body armor designed to better protect female Airmen during combat and contingency operations.

Finding uniform items and gear optimized for female Airmen is an Air Force Chief of Staff initiative.  The Female Fitment Program Office was created in response to identify problems and find solutions quickly.  The office partnered with the Air Force Security Forces Center in San Antonio, Texas to find a “sufficient armored plate carrier system that addresses appropriate form, fit and function while providing adequate protection for female Airmen.”

“This is a perfect example of Air Force Materiel Command getting feedback from the field and delivering the Air Force We Need to the warfighter,” said Gen. Arnold W. Bunch Jr., AFMC commander.  “I’m proud of the team pulling together to do what is right for our Airmen.  They deserve gear that offers the protection they need while allowing them to complete their mission.”

AFLCMC’s Human Systems Division is the lead organization to assess, evaluate and acquire new body armor for Security Forces Defenders and other female Airmen whose jobs require them to operate in dangerous environments.  The new body armor will be specifically fitted to the female body preventing exposure to risks.

“Our female Airmen had gaps due to poor fitment issues said Maj. Saily Rodriguez, Female Fitment Program Manager.  “The new gear fits properly which improves protection and offers better comfort for gear that has to be worn in difficult environments and conditions.”

The program office conducted an evaluation that included laboratory and field assessments.  The contract was awarded to TSSi of Harrisonburg, Virginia for the Aspetto “Mach V” system that was deemed the best solution in terms of price, effectiveness and fitment.

“The feedback during our field assessment was overwhelmingly positive.  This is something our Airmen want because it offers a great benefit to their health and safety,” Rodriguez said.    

The first product deliveries are expected in Fall 2020.

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34th National Meeting
Dayton, OH
23-27 September 2020
MEETING CANCELLED


35th National Meeting
Nashville, TN
17-22 August 2021