NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE U.S. AIR FORCE
TEMPORARILY CLOSED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS

DAYTON, Ohio —The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force will temporarily close beginning Sunday, March 15, 2020 as a public health precaution in relation to COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

All events and activities scheduled at the museum have been cancelled or postponed until further notice. The museum will re-evaluate its closure status on a week to week basis and will provide the latest updates on the museum website and social media sites.

The museum’s top priority is the health and safety of visitors, staff and volunteers and the museum will continue to closely monitor this situation in coordination with Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and local health officials.

Despite the closure to the public, the museum will continue its heritage stewardship duties and work with Air Force leadership to minimize risk to its personnel and their families.

Please watch the museum's website, www.nationalmuseum.af.mil and local media outlets for information on when the museum's normal operations will resume. Visitors are encouraged to follow the museum on social media as the museum will continue to provide posts and engage with the public during this temporary closure.

Visitors may also take a virtual tour of the museum or view 360-degree images of cockpits of aircraft on display at www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/Visit/Virtual-Tour.

The National Aviation Hall of Fame, co-located at the museum, will also be closed. For more information, please contact them at 937-256-0944, ext. 19 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For general information about the Air Force Museum Foundation please call (937) 258-1218 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The Air Force Museum Store, operated by the Air Force Museum Foundation is available online at http://store.airforcemuseum.com. For questions about the status of an event reservation, please call (937) 656-9393 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

NOTE TO MEDIA: For more information, contact Rob Bardua at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Public Affairs Division at (937) 255-1386 or Danielle Almeter at (937) 255-1283.

 

SECURITY FORCES MUSEUM
TEMPORARILY CLOSED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS

Following the lead of the National Museum USAF and direction from HQ AETC, the AHTC and Security Forces Exhibits Annex will be closed to the public until further notice.

WILLIAM A. (BILL) MANCHESTER
Director, Airman Heritage Training Complex
Air Education and Training Command History Office
Lackland AFB, TX 78236
Comm. 210-671-3055

DEFENDER CHALLENGE POSTPONED UNTIL MAY 2021

Defender Challenge 2020 to Test Readiness, Lethality

By Vicki Stein, Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center Public Affairs, 3 March 2020

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas --The U.S. Air Force Defender Challenge 2020 will pit Security Forces teams against each other in San Antonio, Texas, May 2021.

Defenders will prove their abilities in dismounted skills, endurance, agility, individual weapons, and military working dog (MWD) teams through a series of gut-testing challenges. This year, Security Forces expanded the competitor pool to 19 teams from across the U.S. Air Force major commands, U.S. Army Military Police, and with our coalition partners.  

Brig. Gen. Roy Collins, Air Force Director of Security Forces, says his intent is to demonstrate improved Defender lethality and readiness to defend our personnel and resources in any environment to ensure mission success. 

“Our Defenders will push themselves to the breaking point in these readiness trials to showcase the capabilities we bring to the fight, while displaying our competitive spirit and camaraderie that makes us unique,” said Brig. Gen. Collins.

This year, the challenges are tougher. The dismounted skills assessment, known as combat endurance, will measure strength, endurance, agility, teamwork, leadership, problem solving and knowledge of core skills. Competitors can expect to encounter multiple training objectives throughout the patrol to test their grit and measure the team’s cohesion and resiliency, such as medical aid, fire and maneuver, and land navigation.  

The combat agility competition objective will test functional fitness and the ability to execute tasks in a field-based evaluation under stress.

The weapons challenge evolved into a practical application where shooters will engage in scenario-based shooting events at the individual, pair and fire team levels in the near, middle and far distances.   This event will require active engagement, quicker reaction to situations and higher weapons expertise to prove proficiency on weapons.

A new event this year pits premiere MWD teams against a series of dismounted skills assessments in much the same manner as the combat endurance competition. The MWD and handler are judged as a team through a series of patrol and explosives detection-based field problems.

Chief Master Sgt. Tamara Hartz, Security Forces Career Field Manager, explained that not only will those events determine the most lethal and most ready team, “they will also inform us of things we need to do in our training capacity to help create the best Defender warfighter for the Air Force. Training is the foundation that makes us more lethal and more ready,” said Hartz.

“We updated our training over the past few years as part of the Reconstitute Defender Initiative. By looking at how our Defenders accomplish these events, we can fine-tune our training programs moving us from qualified to proficient in our core skills using lessons learned from this year’s competition to improve them,” explained Hartz. “Using Defender Challenge as both a showcase for talent and a way to assess training needs, we will continue to develop more lethal and capable security forces Airmen.”

Many of the teams who competed in 2018 will be back to defend their titles. Others will take the opportunity to take it from them. In 2018 PACAF won the Defender Challenge title by taking first in the weapons competition, placing second in the dismounted operations challenge, and scoring well in the combat agility.

PACAF won the weapons competition and displayed the highest marksmanship skills of all teams in that category. They won the Coleman Cup, named after Brig. Gen. Richard Coleman, former U.S. Air Force Security Forces Center director of security forces and commander from 1997 to 2000.

Air Mobility Command won the Sadler Cup. The award is presented to the top team in the dismounted operations challenge, named after Maj. Gen. Thomas Sadler, who served as Air Force Chief of Security Police from 1975-1977.

United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force (RAF) Regiment previously held the trophy since winning it at the 2003 Defender Challenge.

In the combat endurance relay event, the German Air Force came out on top, and Lance Cpl. Adam Butler of the RAF team won the Outstanding Defender Award for demonstrating exceptional leadership throughout the competition.

“This year’s event will continue to evaluate our tactics, techniques and procedures and build upon our lessons learned, while working jointly with our world-wide partners, both in competition and crosstalk,” said Collins. “More lethal and more ready!”

************

Editor's Note: The Air Force Defender Challenge video is a must watch. Go to the "Gallery" then "Videos" and scroll down to the bottom to view it.

The Year of the Defender Improved Career Field Capabilities


Brig Gen Collins


10 February 2020

As we move forward into the New Year, I’d like to reflect upon the past, “Year of the Defender” and how this critical initiative equipped our Defenders to be more lethal and more ready. The increased investment in training, resourcing and equipment provided the career field with a spark that will continue to deliver capabilities to our Defenders for years to come.

The Year of the Defender Memorandum, signed by Air Force Senior Leaders, was designed to restore readiness, revitalize Security Forces organizations at all levels, and build a more dynamic force in accordance with the Secretary of Defense and Secretary of the Air Force direction. Numerous enterprise-wide efforts were established to equip our Defenders to better identify threats, better protect and defend our air bases to support Air Force, Joint and Coalition missions.

Our initial efforts focused at the source of proficiency and professionalism by overhauling the curriculum at the Security Forces Academy. A top to bottom review of the Academy was critical in providing the operational units a higher caliber Defender upon graduation. With the support of our strong SF Academy leadership team and our elite Security Forces Instructor cadre, we quickly updated our curriculum and implemented the changes in record time. This effort was critical in improving the foundation of our Defender’s development.

Much needed focus was placed on human capital investment to protect our most important asset - the Defender. Sustained efforts were placed to institute leader-led training. Leader led training put our Supervisor’s back into the loop of owning the responsibility of training the Airmen they lead. This effort has built a stronger connection and responsibility of ownership in the Supervisor with their Airmen. Additionally, we placed focus on Tier Training, which provides training gates that all Defenders must go through to ensure they are proficient for the skill level of their current rank. The Tier level training has provided operational units the ability to determine overall readiness of their Airmen based on whether they are enlisted or officer.

Human Capital investment extended to our Civilian Defenders, who have been critical to maintaining our current readiness level. Our Civilian Defenders are now graduating from a 10-week course at VA LETC that is compliant with DoD Law Enforcement Peace Officers Standards and Training requirements. This investment ensures our Civilian Defenders are ready to meet all mission requirements. This is especially important as we look to increase their role in Integrated Base Defense.

Additionally, we were successful in accelerating the delivery of modernized equipment to the field. The delivery of the new weapons systems, which includes the M18 handgun and the M4A1 rifle are underway. The need for better weapons was long overdue and critical in providing our Defenders with the fire power necessary to defend our installations.

We strategically began investment in new modular scalable vests and helmets designed for better protection and fit while performing daily duties. We are also in the final stages of the designing and fielding the first-ever Female Body Armor to ensure all Defenders have proper fitting gear to meet mission requirements.

In order to properly support the operational units, the Headquarters Air Force staff conducted a full evaluation of all career field policy and doctrine to ensure tactical and strategic alignment. Where warranted, there was a complete re-write. These efforts are ongoing but we have started to refine gaps in policy and improved guidance to the operational units executing the mission. Better guidance drives improved execution!

Continuing into 2020, our newly developed Security Forces Enterprise Plan will support the current efforts underway from “Year of the Defender.” Our Security Forces Enterprise Plan will focus on four strategic goals, “Institutionalizing an Elite Defender Culture, Proficiency Focused Training, Modernizing Enterprise Capabilities, and Standardizing Requirements.” More to follow as we work to finalize the focus areas under each of these strategic goals.

As the largest enlisted career field in the Air Force with approximately 38,000 total force Defenders serving on over 120 bases, it is the job of Security Forces to protect, defend and fight! We are responsible for integrated defense, nuclear security, and defending air bases around the globe. It is imperative we continue to train, develop, resource and equip the total force to include our Civilian Defenders for the environment in which we operate now and for the future.

These items discussed today is only a small portion of the success of the “Year of The Defender.” Our efforts will remain centered on how we continue to make the Defender Weapon System…More Lethal and More Ready every day!

Brig Gen Collins

 

NEWEST

SECURITY

FORCES

COLONELS

 

Defenders, I am proud to announce and CONGRATULATE our newest Defender Colonels!

MELISSA G BROWN

KENNETH R DECEDUE

ROBERT M FORD

TYRELL O MAYFIELD

MICHAEL J MORALES

S N PUWALOWSKI

JOSEPH E RINGER

CHRISTOPHER M SHEFFIELD

DOUGLAS W WHITEHEAD

The hard work and commitment to excellence of these Defenders directly contributed to the Air Force’s decision for them to earn the title of “senior leader” in our Service. They now have the opportunity to perform the duties and take on the responsibilities associated with that small circle of leaders. Their achievements are indicative of their unwavering dedication to the Air Force’s core values and their ability to take care of the mission and their people with equal skill. I look forward to serving with them in leading our Elite Defenders to be More Lethal and More Ready!

VR – R.
ROY W. COLLINS, Brig Gen, USAF
Director of Security Forces

 

Editor’s Note: These Defenders were selected for promotion amongst 431 peers in a pool of over 3,600 eligible officers.

Advancing the Training Continuum


By CMSgt Tamala L. Hartz

Happy New Year! As we begin the new decade and the year 2020 we are continuing to advance our career field’s civilian, enlisted and officer training continuum. These efforts will ensure we are creating a Defender that will win in every fight!

In the last two years we have transformed Security Forces Training from recruitment to retirement. We overhauled every skill-awarding course at the SF Academy and our Military Working Dog schoolhouse. We integrated officer and enlisted training to provide necessary touch points during learning and exercise events. We formed training gates that ensure all Defenders return to the mothership for training at critical points, to match the development of their knowledge, skills and abilities with increased responsibilities. We overhauled our Civilian Defender course at the VA Law Enforcement Training Center to align training with the academy and provide the POST certification. To facilitate teaching and coaching at every base, we fashioned a Leader-Led Trainer course that focuses on providing our noncommissioned officers with the abilities and expertise to deliver training on every operational flight. All of these previous efforts have set the stage for the continuing evolution of our training in the next year.

In 2020, the focus will be on taking Defenders from ‘Qualified’ to ‘Proficient’. This initiative will require continued focus on training time and exercising skills that will build confidence and competence. Proficiency must become what we value and work towards.

Our first step is defining what a proficient Defender looks like. What is a ‘Proficient Defender’?   This is a Defender who accomplishes tasks with fluid instinctiveness and makes critical decisions with the confidence to know he/she will be successful. For example, one will identify a threat, pull their M9 Berretta from a drop holster, aim, pull the trigger and hit the intended target. This is accomplished fluidly, instinctively, and accurately. This proficiency will mature over years of training and experience resulting in smart, seasoned, and lethal Defenders who perform more like precision weapons than gravity bombs.

To begin the effort to become proficient lethal Defenders we must first modernize our home station training tools. It is essential to provide training guides and lesson plans that will arm Leader-Led Trainers and supervisors with relevant, up-to-date and accurate curricula to facilitate learning. We have reached out across the Air Force and created teams of experts to accomplish this cumbersome task. This subject-centered curriculum will provide the needed subject matter expertise to take a Defender from qualified to proficient.

With an understanding of what proficiency is and the tools to accomplish it, the last focus area is who will get us there. The answer, as it is so many times, will be our noncommissioned officers. Proficiency will be achieved through a cascade effect as our Staff Sergeants and Technical Sergeants on our operational flights learn to coach and educate, achieving higher levels of proficiency for themselves and their Defenders. Through the act of preparing for and educating others, a trainer becomes intimately familiar with the task, so much so that after the training they are also capable of executing the task to a higher proficiency level. Additionally when our flight leaders are evaluating the flight accomplishing multiple tasks during an exercise or actual event, their advanced or superior proficiency level enables them to identify the areas in which each Defender needs either additional training or more exposure to the task to increase proficiency levels.

As you can see there is a lot of work to be done, but we have the right people in the right place to ensure we create proficient, lethal Defenders who can win any fight! This is just one focus area we are getting after this year. I look forward to watching our career field mature and continuing to grow over the next 12-months. As always, thank you for what you do for our country, our Air Force, and our career field.

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