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Security Forces augmentees support base defense

A Liberty Wing Airman practices closing an expandable tactical baton during security forces augmentee training at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, April 15, 2020. 48th Security Forces Augmentee Program volunteers participate in a three-day course in preparation for law enforcement duties. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shanice Williams-Jones)

A Liberty Wing Airman practices closing an expandable tactical baton during security forces augmentee training at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, April 15, 2020. 48th Security Forces Augmentee Program volunteers participate in a three-day course in preparation for law enforcement duties. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shanice Williams-Jones)

A Liberty Wing Airman practices baton striking during security forces augmentee training at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, April 15, 2020. The augmentees participate in a rigorous three-day course learning essential security forces tasks, to include handcuffing an individual, and area and vehicle search techniques. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shanice Williams-Jones)

A Liberty Wing Airman practices baton striking during security forces augmentee training at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, April 15, 2020. The augmentees participate in a rigorous three-day course learning essential security forces tasks, to include handcuffing an individual, and area and vehicle search techniques. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shanice Williams-Jones)

A security forces augmentee in training fires an M4 Carbine assault rifle during training at Royal Air Force Feltwell, England, April 17, 2020. Augmentees provide essential support to the security force's mission to protect, defend, and fight to enable Air Force, joint and allied missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shanice Williams-Jones)

A security forces augmentee in training fires an M4 Carbine assault rifle during training at Royal Air Force Feltwell, England, April 17, 2020. Augmentees provide essential support to the security force's mission to protect, defend, and fight to enable Air Force, joint and allied missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shanice Williams-Jones)

48th Security Forces Squadron combat arms personnel assist an augmentee in training at Royal Air Force Feltwell, England, April 17, 2020. In times of increased threat levels or low manpower, the Security Forces Augmentee Program fulfills the need for additional personnel resources to support installation-level force protection requirements. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shanice Williams-Jones)

48th Security Forces Squadron combat arms personnel assist an augmentee in training at Royal Air Force Feltwell, England, April 17, 2020. In times of increased threat levels or low manpower, the Security Forces Augmentee Program fulfills the need for additional personnel resources to support installation-level force protection requirements. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shanice Williams-Jones)

A security forces augmentee in training prepares ammunition during training at Royal Air Force Feltwell, England, April 17, 2020. The Security Forces Augmentee Program consists of a three-day course of classroom instructions and hands-on training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shanice Williams-Jones)

A security forces augmentee in training prepares ammunition during training at Royal Air Force Feltwell, England, April 17, 2020. The Security Forces Augmentee Program consists of a three-day course of classroom instructions and hands-on training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shanice Williams-Jones)

A security forces augmentee in training fires an M4 Carbine assault rifle during training at Royal Air Force Feltwell, England, April 17, 2020. The Security Forces Augmentee Program consists of a three-day course of classroom instructions and hands-on training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shanice Williams-Jones)

A security forces augmentee in training fires an M4 Carbine assault rifle during training at Royal Air Force Feltwell, England, April 17, 2020. The Security Forces Augmentee Program consists of a three-day course of classroom instructions and hands-on training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shanice Williams-Jones)

48th Security Forces Squadron personnel demonstrate how to initiate a vehicle search during security forces augmentee training at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, April 15, 2020. The Security Forces Augmentee Program takes volunteers from all Air Force Specialty Codes to boost manpower during times of increased threat levels. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shanice Williams-Jones)

48th Security Forces Squadron personnel demonstrate how to initiate a vehicle search during security forces augmentee training at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, April 15, 2020. The Security Forces Augmentee Program takes volunteers from all Air Force Specialty Codes to boost manpower during times of increased threat levels. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shanice Williams-Jones)

48th Security Forces Squadron personnel demonstrate how to apprehend a suspect during security forces augmentee training at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, April 15, 2020. In times of increased threat levels or reduced manpower, the Security Forces Augmentee Program fulfills the need for additional personnel resources to support installation-level force protection requirements. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shanice Williams-Jones)

48th Security Forces Squadron personnel demonstrate how to apprehend a suspect during security forces augmentee training at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, April 15, 2020. In times of increased threat levels or reduced manpower, the Security Forces Augmentee Program fulfills the need for additional personnel resources to support installation-level force protection requirements. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shanice Williams-Jones)

48th Security Forces Squadron personnel demonstrate handcuffing techniques during security forces augmentee training at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, April 15, 2020. The Security Forces Augmentee Program is used primarily to support temporary, short-term workload surges during wartime, contingency, natural disaster, and exercise situations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shanice Williams-Jones)

48th Security Forces Squadron personnel demonstrate handcuffing techniques during security forces augmentee training at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, April 15, 2020. The Security Forces Augmentee Program is used primarily to support temporary, short-term workload surges during wartime, contingency, natural disaster, and exercise situations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shanice Williams-Jones)

ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England --

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.