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Security Forces augmentees support base defense

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Shanice Williams-Jones
  • 48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The 48th Security Forces Squadron mission is to protect and defend U.S. Air Force in Europe’s largest fighter wing from possible risks.

However, in times of increased threat levels or reduced manpower, an augmentation program is needed to fulfill the need for additional personnel to support installation-level force protection requirements.

“The Security Forces Augmentee Program is a force-multiplier to boost our capabilities, and its primary goal is to meet short-term needs for base exercises, contingencies, or emergencies,” said Master Sgt. Ethan Perez, 48th SFS training section chief. “We train Airmen from any unit, such as medical group or finance, to support base defense in ways that are completely different from their day-to-day duties.”

Selected augmentees participate in a rigorous three-day course learning essential security forces tasks, to include handcuffing an individual and area and vehicle search techniques.

“The course covers basic tasks, but it’s very in-depth and can be a lot to take in,” Perez said. "We don’t expect the participants to come out as law enforcement experts; this is why we pair them with a security forces member to ensure they have the support they need, and a continuous training resource available.”

Still, the nature of the augmentees’ new duties requires commitment, dedication and motivation, according to Perez. Airmen that choose to volunteer can walk away with a deeper sense of how they fit into the bigger mission, he said.

“I chose to be an augmentee because I saw there was a slot available and I wanted to help out in any way I could,” said Senior Airman William White, an Airman assigned to the 48th Maintenance Group. “I was also curious to see how a tactical unit operates and get a feel for what they do.”

Participants are conditioned to adopt the "Defender Mindset," which is shaped by the characteristic spirit of the Air Force wingman culture and helps augmentees build the confidence and commitment necessary for them to work as part of a team.

“This is a whole different ball game compared to maintenance but I’m glad I did this and feel confident in the training,” White said. “We’re all working towards the same goal."

Augmentee training is valid for one year, and they can be called on at any time to step into the law enforcement role.

“Having a pool of Airmen interested in the program is a huge advantage to boost our strength,” Perez said. “This program allows us to control our gates and implement more countermeasures that strengthen our show of force.”

Security forces augmentees serve as force multipliers and help provide essential around-the-clock support in the protection and defense of Liberty Wing assets and personnel.