AFSFA Career Field Artwork Series Goes On Sale!


You can now own a piece of your career field history. AFSFA has commissioned the first in a series of AP, SP, SF history prints, and it is now available through the AFSFA Country Store online  or by calling 888-250-9876 or 210-277-0448.

The first print, “Air Force Security Police, Proven In Battle,” commemorates the battle and sacrifice by the Security Police of the 3d and 377th Security Police Squadrons on the 31st of January 1968 at Bien Hoa and Tan Son Nhut Airbases, Republic of Vietnam.

Randall Stevens, the artist, has captured in the unbelievable detail of technical pen the relentless efforts and determined spirit of the Security Police. The action scenes are pure black and white with only the medals and squadron patches bearing aged and worn color. When asked about his final product Randall stated, “It was an honor to have been selected to create this work for The Air Force Security Forces Association. For the better part of 2016, and through five drafts, I strived to ensure an accurate portrayal about the TET Offensive. I am honored to have been a part of this venture.”

The prints measure 30” by 20”, arrive rolled in mailing tubes ready to frame and each is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. All 300 prints are hand numbered, but only the Artist Edition is hand signed. Specific numbered prints cannot be requested.

            Artist Edition (#11-100, hand signed and hand numbered) -- $99.99

            Military Edition (#101-300, hand numbered) -- $79.99

Acknowledging Domestic Terror Threat, Pentagon Says Troops, Recruiters Can Carry Concealed Guns

By: Jeffrey Schogol, November 21, 2016 (Photo Credit: Jeff Schogol), Military Times

U.S. military personnel can now request to carry concealed handguns for protection at government facilities, according to new Defense Department directive issued last week in response to a series of deadly shootings over the last seven years.

While service members already were authorized to carry weapons as part of specific job responsibilities, the new policy allows them to apply to carry their privately owned firearms “for personal protection not associated with the performance of official duties,” the directive says.

It also clarifies when military recruiters can be armed, said Army Maj. Jamie Davis, a Defense Department spokesman.

“Commanders have always had that authority to arm recruiters,” Davis told Military Times on Monday. “Some of the wording wasn’t very clear, so they’ve gone through and cleaned it up so it is very clear now that the commanders have that authority to use at their discretion.”

Effective Nov. 18, the directive culminates years of work, Davis said.

The effort began after the 2009 shooting at Fort Hood in Texas, where former Army Maj. Nidal Hasan killed 13 people and wounded more than 30 others. It accelerated after the July 2015 attacks on a recruiting station and Navy reserve center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. That incident claimed the lives of four Marines and a sailor. Both lone-wolf attacks were believed to be inspired by international terrorism. 

In April 2014, Spc. Ivan Lopez-Lopez killed three soldiers at Fort Hood and wounded 12 others after an argument. Lopez-Lopez killed himself when confronted by a military police officer.

The updated policy spells out when troops can carry government-issued weapons as part of their official duty and when they can carry their own firearms for protection. The directive does not apply to troops in war zones or members of the National Guard who are not working in a federal status.

Those wishing to carry a concealed personal firearm on Defense Department property must apply for permission. They have to be at least 21 years old and meet all federal, state and local laws and host-nation requirements the directive says.

The individual military services will determine requirements for those who will grant conceal-carry requests, the directive says. Those officials must have a minimum rank of lieutenant colonel, commander or the civilian equivalent.

“These authorizations will be for a maximum of 90-calendar-day increments and may be renewed for as long as the threat or circumstance necessitating arming exists,” according to the directive.

Service members will not be given permission to carry a concealed handgun if they have violated the Uniform Code of Military Justice “for any offense that calls into question the individual’s right to carry a firearm,” or if they have been convicted or face charges in civilian courts, the directive says.

The updated policy makes clear that Defense Department personnel can be armed, “when there is a general or specific threat of possible harm directed against them when that threat relates to the person’s official duties or status.”

That means troops at recruiting stations and reserve centers can be armed if their commanders grant approval, Davis said. The commanders will determine what type of threat their recruiters face and what protective equipment recruiters should be issued.

However, recruiters and other service members who are not security personnel cannot bring firearms to an off-base location that is guarded by police or security guards, the directive says.

“For example, DoD personnel assigned to recruiting duties should not be armed when visiting high schools that have law enforcement or security personnel on site.”

Goodbye Mica, Thank You

By Tech. Sgt. Javier Cruz, 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs / Published November 15, 2016

Tyndall Airmen provide a final salute to retired U.S. Air Force Military Working Dog, Mica T204, at the end of her final patrol Nov. 14, 2016 at Tyndall Air Force Base. Mica provided over 4,500 hours of counter-explosive operations and installation protection for more than 45 air assets and 7,000 military, civilian, and retired personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Javier Cruz/Released)

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - In the early morning hours, Tyndall Airmen paid final respects to one of their own as they prepared for one final patrol together.

Retired military working dog Mica was laid to rest Nov 14 after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Mica was retired from service in February from the 325th Security Forces Squadron. She was assigned to Tyndall Air Force Base from Nov. 26, 2012 to Feb. 19, 2016.

According to Mica’s Air Force Commendation Medal, she distinguished herself in the performance of outstanding service to the United States as a patrol and explosive detector dog.

Mica provided over 4,500 hours of counter-explosive operations and installation protection for more than 45 air assets and 7,000 military, civilian and retired personnel. She served in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom, New Dawn, Enduring Freedom, and Inherent Resolve.

After returning from her last deployment Mica was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. She received round-the-clock care from her dog handlers after surgery.

“We all took turns taking care of her after one of her surgeries, just like you would an infant, feeding her and bathing her -- it was a rough two weeks,” said Tech. Sgt. Eric B. Hoffman, NCO in charge of the Military Working Dog section. “These dogs live their lives in literal service, so it’s important to us to show that respect when their time is done. She lasted a lot longer than anyone said she would and she had people around her who really cared for her a lot.”

Mica was adopted by Maj. Mari Metzler, 325th Aerospace Medical Squadron aerospace physiology flight commander.

“She was playing with a toy when I came to see her, I went into the kennel and sat down cross-legged. She put her paws up on my knees and just kind of stared at me and we just hit it off,” Metzler said. “I fell in love with her right there.”

On the first day Mica was released to Metzler, the pair immediately started to bond.

“We went straight to the beach the first day and just ran. Ever since then, I would take her out every day for runs on the beach. We did that for a solid seven months,” Metzler said.

Mica’s condition would eventually deteriorate and her retirement cut short.

“She is, and always will be, a military working dog, the final patrol was the perfect tribute to her because that’s always in her heart,” she said. “She’s real special, and I was so lucky. She was very beautiful, I’m just happy that she’s home.”

Mica’s former handler, Staff Sgt. Justin J. Paczesny, had this to say about her in an emotional social media post, “My baby girl, three and a half years together side by side. The cancer has taken its toll and she is being taken from this earth far before her time. Best four legged partner a man could ask for. MWD MICA T204 ‘Princess of Tyndall,’ I love you. All dogs go to heaven, especially a Guardian of the Night.”

Surrounded by familiar faces and family members, Mica and Metzler walked down a pathway lined with Airmen rendering the final salute.

Safeguarding the Airfield: CRG Defenders Provide Air Base Defense in Northern Iraq

By Staff Sgt. Charles Rivezzo, U.S. Air Forces Central Command Public Affairs / Published November 21, 2016


 U.S. Air Force Capt. Scott Hlavin, 821st Contingency Response Group defense force commander, scans the horizon while assisting in a perimeter watch at Qayyarah West Airfield, Iraq, Nov. 17, 2016. The 821st CRG is highly-specialized in training and rapidly deploying personnel to quickly open airfields and establish, expand, sustain and coordinate air mobility operations in austere, bare-base conditions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jordan Castelan)

QAYYARAH WEST AIRFIELD, Iraq -- Giulio Douhet's military concept states, "the only effective way to counter air power is to destroy its bases on the ground."

As such, air base defense serves as the core of Air Force security forces' doctrine. It's the foundation from which the career field planted its roots.

"The history books of security forces are riddled with examples of how air bases, when defended by the Army, weren't sufficient," said Capt. Scott Hlavin, 821st Contingency Response Group defense force commander. "Not because the Army personnel weren't trained or capable. They just weren't air minded. That's where the security forces defender comes into play."

Today, the Defenders assigned to the 821st CRG hold the pen in their hands to write the pages of history. They are on the front lines in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, providing air base defense for Qayyarah West Airfield in northern Iraq.

Situated just 30 miles south of Mosul, Qayyarah West Airfield is a strategic launching pad and frontline resupply depot. It is one of the northern-most hubs for coalition airpower in Iraq.

The contingent of Defenders here is responsible for the security and safeguarding of a five kilometer airfield.

“Our mission is threefold, it includes working with our joint partners [Army], our Iraqi brethren, and the one we take most personally, defending this air base to allow for unhindered air operations”, said Hlavin.

"An airfield is vulnerable," he said. "We have the world’s greatest Air Force. When we are in the air no one can touch us, but when we are on the ground we are just as vulnerable as the next guy. Our aircraft are too valuable and too important as strategic platforms in the fight against [ISIL] or whoever the enemy may be. It's our mission to ensure our air base is ready to go."

Since the 821st CRG's arrival in mid-October, security forces personnel have secured an additional kilometer perimeter around the airfield; hardening defenses and enabling security resources to be freed up for supplementary operations.

"This is definitely something you read about in history books and never think you will be part of it," Hlavin said. "A lot of times we are behind the front lines. But here at Qayyarah West, our core principles of integrated air base defense are alive and well."

CRG Defenders

The 821st CRG is highly-specialized in training and rapidly deploying personnel to quickly open airfields and establish, expand, sustain and coordinate air mobility operations in austere, bare-base conditions.

"Our forces set the stage for that gap between the Army seizing an airfield and our follow-on forces setting up an even more in-depth posture to protect our assets on the ground," said Hlavin. "In order to achieve that end state, you have to maximize your efforts, your firepower, your weapon systems and you have to have the right people."

Hlavin added that while his Defenders are young, they have grown during their time at Qayyarah West.

Senior Airman Jonathan Sorber, 821st CRG first in security team member, is on his first deployment and is one of those Airmen. His duties situate him on the edge of the fight against ISIL. In full kit and armed with a M240 Bravo, he scans out across the unimpeded terrain surrounding the air base. He is the first line of defense for the sprawling airfield.

"My mission here is to support the opening of the air base and provide elite airfield security," said Sorber. "We work every day, providing security on the frontlines. Ultimately, we are the ones between the bad guys and our guys, and at the end of the day when everyone makes it home safe, we know we did our jobs."

Defenders bear the responsibility for the safekeeping of their fellow Airmen. They are the "sheep dogs." The hours are unforgiving and the shifts often isolating, but their mission remains essential to the overarching objective of projecting superior airpower within the region.

"It’s not easy joining up to go to war," Hlavin said. "You find yourself thrust in your first deployment here in the middle of Iraq. It’s not easy. But seeing the troops actually grow and learn, watching them grow out here in the real deal is humbling; coming back with smiles on their faces knowing they kept the base safe on their shift."

Developing Relationships

In addition to air base defense, an essential function of the 821st CRG Defenders' role at Qayyarah West remains increasing interoperability with their Iraqi counterparts.

"Our end goal is to start furthering our training with our Iraqi partners," Hlavin said. "We want to get them up in the towers, out on the berm and running their own security. We want to ensure that when we hand this base off to them they have the power projection capability to defeat future threats"

Although the language barrier remains an obstacle, Hlavin said relationships continue to develop.

"You see that they aren't much different than we are," he said. "Many of them are young, have families and are fighting for the future of their country.

"It's exciting to watch and see what the future of Iraq is. We have a lot of friends who started this over a decade ago feeling as though their sacrifices were for nothing. Today, we are here watching them have their airplanes flying and fighting a common enemy. It’s a humbling experience to be a part of."

Air Force wants about 1,900 airmen to retrain into undermanned jobs

By: Stephen Losey, November 13, 2016, Air Force Times, (Photo Credit: TSgt Chuck Walker/Air Force)


The Air Force hopes to have about 1,917 enlisted airmen retrain into 95 undermanned career fields, according to a Nov. 10 list obtained by Air Force Times.

The fiscal 2017 Non-Commissioned Officer Retraining Program, or NCORP, also needs airmen to retrain out of 292 enlisted positions in 20 overmanned Air Force specialty codes.

That is higher than the 1,801 retraining-in slots in 59 undermanned career fields that were at one point on the list for the 2016 NCORP, but less than the 491 retraining-out slots in 13 overmanned career fields.

The Air Force Personnel Center declined to provide the list directly to Air Force Times, and said the numbers change on a daily basis.

But even if the numbers change, the list that was current on Nov. 10 provides a glimpse at where the Air Force sees its undermanning problems.

"We continue to grow the force and are maximizing our accessions," said Brig. Gen. Brian Kelly, director of military force management policy, in a Nov. 2 release announcing the retraining window. "As a result, training seats are at a premium and most AFSCs are at or near max capacity. Correspondingly, our retraining opportunities are limited and focus on balancing the inventory between AFSCs where our inventory is healthier and those where manning is lower in both the first-term airman and NCO retraining areas."

The most retraining opportunities will be for first-term airmen seeking to enter the security forces career field — 145 slots to enter the 3P011A dog handler field and 82 slots to become 3P011B combat arms security forces, for 227 slots total.

And some of the jobs with large numbers of retraining slots could help the Air Force address its maintenance shortfall. For example, the 3S211 education and training AFSC — which has 167 retraining-in slots for first-term airmen and 33 staff sergeant slots, a total of 200 — is responsible for developing maintenance, operations and support training programs.

And airmen in the 1A111 flight engineer AFSC, which has 70 retraining-in slots in all, performs visual inspections and in-flight duties for aircraft, as well as non-scheduled aircraft maintenance.

The NCORP list also has 157 retraining opportunities to become 1B411 cyberspace defense operations airmen, 100 for 1A911 special missions aviation airmen, and 150 for aerospace medical service airmen, which includes 59 for 4N051C independent duty medical technicians and 91 for 4N051F flight and operational medicine technicians.

The list also includes 81 slots for airmen to retrain as 5J011 paralegals.

The bulk of the retraining-in slots, 1,286, are for first-term airmen. The list also includes 510 slots for staff sergeants, 100 for technical sergeants and 21 for master sergeants.

Most of the airmen the Air Force needs to retrain out of overmanned career fields are staff sergeants, with 157 retraining positions identified. Another 115 tech sergeants and 20 master sergeants will have to retrain out of their current jobs.

Vehicle and vehicular equipment maintenance airmen, 2T311, are most overmanned, with 52 billets out of which airmen will need to retrain. The 4N011 aerospace medical service career field which is the most junior skill level in the job — has 44 retrain-out slots. And 3E311 structural airmen and 1N111A geospatial intelligence analysts have 32 and 30 retrain-out slots, respectively.

"Those AFSCs identified as eligible for retraining-out represent areas where the current inventory of airmen, based on skill and grade, is healthy enough to take some risk," AFPC said in the Nov. 2 release. "Those AFSCs identified as eligible for retraining-in currently have lower inventories where current risk can be reduced by adding additional airmen."

AFPC said the Air Force this year launched a program called the Air Force Work Interest Navigator, or AF-WIN, to help NCOs find career fields they might be interested in retraining into. The program has airmen answer questions on their interests, skills and work histories, creates a list of jobs that could suit them, and compares their interests to entry-level AFSCs.

But in the release, Master Sgt. Kristie Reece, the superintendent for AFPC's enlisted skills management branch, said airmen should still talk to their retraining adviser, because the AF-WIN program doesn't recognize if an airman is eligible for a particular career field, or if it has any openings.

Airmen who are interested in applying for retraining must be on at least their second enlistment, be a staff sergeant or staff sergeant-select through master sergeant, and have a skill level of at least five in their control AFSC, or a three-level if a five-level does not exist. Staff sergeants must have less than 12 years of service, and technical and master sergeants must have no more than 16 years of active service by Sept. 30.

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Tet Rememberance Ceremony
50th Anniversary of the Tet Offensive
30-31 January 2018
Lackland AFB TX
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Points of Contact:
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