820th Base Defense Group Celebrates 20 Years


Story by Airman 1st Class Lauren Sprunk, Moody Air Force Base

Photo By Airman 1st Class Lauren Sprunk | Airmen from the 820th Base Defense Group ambush a building during a tactical demonstration, March 27, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. The demonstration was part of the 820th BDG anniversary, which commemorated 20 years since the activation of the 820th Base Defense Group, formerly known as the 820th Security Forces Squadron, and allowed guests to reminisce on their history, honor those they’ve lost, and walk through a tactical demonstration. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Lauren M. Sprunk)


Moody’s defenders, past and present, and distinguished guests gathered, March 27 to 29, here, to celebrate the anniversary of the only active duty Air Force base defense group.

The anniversary commemorated 20 years since the activation of the 820th Base Defense Group, formerly known as the 820th Security Forces Squadron, and allowed guests to reminisce on their history, honor those they’ve lost, and walk through a tactical demonstration.

“One of the things that makes the 820th so unique is the desire that its members have to come back and serve or just to come back and visit,” said Col. Kevin Walker, 820th BDG Commander. “It’s unlike any other group I’ve ever seen. Our Airmen have grown a bond that in many regards is stronger than family.

“I hope [that during this reunion,] those that are 820th alumni are able to find pride in seeing and interacting with the group that they’ve helped build.”

Attendees began the celebration with an opening ceremony where retired Brig. Gen. Richard Coleman explained how he transformed what started as an idea written down on a bar napkin into the first ever base defense group.

From there, guests went to a wreath laying ceremony where they honored the lives of the four Airmen they have lost since the group’s inception: Airman 1st Class Leebernard Chavis, Staff Sgt. Todd Lobraico Jr., Tech. Sgt. Joseph Lemm and Staff Sgt. Louis Bonacasa.

“[These Airmen] laid down their lives because they believed that everyone else’s tomorrows are worth more than their todays,” said Walker. “[For that,] we honor them for their courage, for their sacrifice, and for the American, the Airman and the defender that they are.”


After the ceremony, the 820th BDG recognized distinguished guest and former Chief of Staff of the Air Force, retired Gen. John Jumper, by dedicating a conference room in honor of him. Jumper also re-enlisted Staff Sgt. Scott Shirley, 824th Base Defense Squadron NCO in charge of plans and programs.

Guests ended their day by watching a tactical demonstration where 820th BDG Airmen showcased their strategies, weapons and ability to work as a team with each section that makes up the 820th BDG.

“The BDG composition consists of a headquarters element, a Combat Operations Squadron, and three operational squadrons that can be tailored to meet the mission’s need,” said Senior Master Sgt. Justin Geers, 824th Base Defense Squadron operations superintendent. “The 820th continues to evolve to fulfill the integrated base defense mission, as its predecessor, the combat security police of the Vietnam era, did.”

The tactics of the 820th BDG began in South Vietnam when highly successful guerrilla attacks compelled the Air Force to transform the standard practice of airbase ground defense into an aggressive defense force capable of detecting and stopping attacks on the base from outside the wire. Designated Operation SAFESIDE, the new initiative required new techniques to create the “active defense” concept which proved to be successful.

The SAFESIDE legacy returned with the activation of 820th Security Forces Group. The Group was activated on March, 17, 1997.

In the beginning, the group had difficulty finding the manpower needed to form the assigned squadrons of the 820th SFG. The group had seven flights scattered around the country who would come together to form a squadron when the Headquarters teams deployed for contingencies.

“From March 1997, the group and its seven geographically separated flights trained and became operational,” said Geers. “On August 1, 1999, Detachment 1, 820th SFG stood up at Moody to plan and execute the moves of the group Headquarters staff from Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, and to bed down and build three new squadrons.

“On March 14, 2001, the official stand up of the group occurred at Moody and the group moved to Air Combat Command.”

Today, the 820th Base Defense Group provides planning, training, equipping and preparation of three security forces squadrons. They are the only global ‘first-in’ force protection unit to provide fully-integrated, highly capable and responsive forces to protect overseas contingency operations around the globe at a moment’s notice.



“[This reunion allows] attendees to hear and see the past, present and future of the BDG,” said Walker. “They will see how the action of the past has created today’s BDG and how today’s BDG is preparing the way and setting the road for tomorrow’s BDG.”

Ghostwalkers' Gear Up for SW Asia

By Airman 1st Class Greg Nash, 23d Wing Public Affairs / Published April 13, 2017

Staff Sgt. Jonathan Jenkins, 824th Base Defense Squadron squad leader, plays with his son prior to deploying, April 11, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. More than 100 Airmen from the 824th BDS, known as the ‘Ghostwalkers,’deployed to Southwest Asia to provide fully-integrated, highly capable and responsive forces while safeguarding Expeditionary Air Force assets. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Greg Nash)


MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- More than 100 Airmen from Moody's 824th Base Defense Squadron, known as the ‘Ghostwalkers,’ deployed to Southwest Asia to provide fully-integrated, highly capable and responsive forces while safeguarding Expeditionary Air Force assets.

The 824th BDS is a part of the 93rd Air Ground Operations Wing which provides highly trained ground combat forces and are capable of integrating air and space power into the ground scheme of fire and maneuver.

Their members conduct offensive and defensive ground combat operations worldwide to protect expeditionary aerospace forces with an airborne capability.

2016 AF Outstanding Security Forces Unit Award Winners

Chief Hartz and I are pleased to announce the following units have been selected as the 2016 Outstanding Security Forces Unit Award winners. This award recognizes the extraordinary contributions Security Forces units and their personnel have made to our nation's ability to project airpower.

Award winners are listed in their respective categories:

- United States Air Force Outstanding Unit "Air Reserve Component" Award Winner: 944 SFS, AFRC, Luke AFB, AZ led by Lt Col Amy A. Evans and CMSgt Anthony J. Simmons

- United States Air Force Outstanding Unit "Small Category" Award Winner: 736 SFS, PACAF, Andersen AFB, GU led by Maj Lidia A. Iyassu and CMSgt Rick A. Schlachter

- United States Air Force Outstanding Unit "Medium Category" Award Winner: 423 SFS, USAFE, RAF Alconbury, England led by Lt Col John W. Jansheski and SMSgt Steven N. Byer

- United States Air Force Outstanding Unit "Large Category" Award Winner: 18 SFS, PACAF, Kadena AB, Japan led by Lt Col Sarah Babbitt and CMSgt Dana C. Council

Please pass on our heartfelt congratulations to your teams and let their installation commanders know the hardware will be shipped to them for presentation at a time and place of their choosing. Our sincerest thanks go to all of your Defenders for the contributions they make to our nation's defense every day.

Defensor Fortis -

Brig Gen Tullos
Director of Security Forces
DCS/Logistics, Engineering & Force Protection

SF Exhibits Annex Showcasing SF History and Heritage

AETC History Office

(Photo courtesy of Ken Neal)

If you have recently visited JBSA-Lackland, you might have seen a new sign on the building previous known as the USAF Security Forces Museum. It reads USAF Security Forces Exhibits Annex. This is the place to visit for all things related to the history and heritage of the Security Forces.

You may ask, why did the name change? That came about in 2016 when the National Museum of the US Air Force consolidated the two museum accounts (historical holdings such as uniforms, weapons, photographs, and much more) at JBSA-Lackland into a single account under a single, consolidated museum, the USAF Airmen Heritage Museum.

While there is one museum, there are two distinct museum facilities. Building 10501 continues its long association with the Security Forces career field. Its halls showcase Security Forces heritage exhibits and artifacts. It is a one-of-a-kind place, the only facility in the Air Force Museum Program dedicated to a single career field, Security Forces.

Building 5206 is home to the Airmen Heritage Museum and Enlisted Character Development Center. Its focus is to tell the story of the Enlisted Airman, and it does that through artifacts and exhibits. Under the direction of CMSgt Steven West, the museum system at JBSA-Lackland has plenty to offer. Colorful, informative displays, authentic uniforms, artifacts, and a staff available to answer your questions. In fact, the museum just added a new staff member, Mr George Strader. A former enlisted Air Force historian and curator at the Sheppard AFB, Texas, heritage hall, Mr Strader brings a wealth of experience to the museum. He will be working from the Security Forces Exhibits Annex and is available to assist with historical research and tours.

Both of the museum facilities are open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday and from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday. They are closed on Wednesdays, the weekend, and on federal holidays. To schedule events at either locations (for example, retirements, promotions, reunions and special tours, contact SSgt Ryan Stockbridge at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Defenders Wanted!

Location: San Antonio, Texas

March 20, 2017                                                                   

We at Securitas are looking for knowledgeable and motivated; state licensed Level 3/4 Security Officers to join our mission of protecting our cities water. Veterans of Security Forces have the integrity, experience, and professionalism needed to help maintain a quality of service we aim to provide to our city.

What does Securitas have to offer?

--- Veteran Leadership. The branch and project manager are both Veterans of Security Forces.

--- We commit to our officers. We understand the struggles our veterans face in the job market as well as the work place. As such, we will arm, equip, train and support you to ensure you and our operation remains successful.

--- Career Progression. Our security operation is complex but will be familiar to Defenders. Our duty positions include: Mobile Patrol, OIC (flight chief level of authority), Dispatch (desk sergeants), Personal Protection Officers (personal security detail), and access control (entry controllers).

--- Above Market Starting Wages; $14.00-16.00 per hour with annual increases thereafter.

Who are we?

--- Securitas is the most locally-focused security company in the United States, with over 500 local Branch Managers and more than 88,000 Security Officers who provide unmatched security solutions to meet the specific needs of thousands of businesses. Securitas USA's core business is Security Services. Our main service offering categories are specialized guarding, mobile security services, monitoring, and consulting and investigations.

--- At Securitas USA we believe that the future of our company can only be achieved if we help with the continuity of our people’s skills. We believe in proper recruitment, extensive training and ongoing coaching. We strive to help our employees develop to their full potential.

How to apply?

Email your resume to Dawn Bowen/Human Resources Manager at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or apply online at www.securitasjobs.com

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Tet Rememberance Ceremony
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