I'm in training right now for my deployment and we were shown a video about the bagram attack. In the back of my mind, this could have been prevented if we had a offensive patrol outside the wire. Not the typical 300 meters and lets go home for today patrol. I'm talking about pushing out 13 to even 20 kilometers out of our perimeter. With that kind of patroling, the Airmen will have a better concept of the battlespace and get infromation about certain groups that operates in that AOR. I understand that we "defend the base" but in retrospect we could have a more synergistic apporach in defending the base other than being posted at a ECP or rotting in a tower. If QRF operations are intergrated with base defense operations in any terrrain i.e. bare base or MOB, our Airmen will have a better chance of defending a base. Our leadership needs to expediate their mindsets in todays war in terrorism. It is not the cold war and we can't just stay static posted forever. We as in Security Forces members have proven ourselves time and time again that we are capable of defending our own battlespace and instructing coalition partners in Law Enforcement and Security. We have done Police Transition Teams and Quick Reaction Forces missions in Iraq and some in Afghanistan. With those missions we have ease the burden in our sister services. We all need to realize our true capability and expand from it. Theres a saying out there. Best defense is offense...
Yep. But we don't own the battle space out there. The Army does. So there you have it.
US AF security forces are neither equipped, manned or qualififed/trained to own that battle space. And IMHO they aren't qualififed/trained to conduct the OTW trips that they now do. Air Base Ground Defense, not Infantry operations.
US Air Force
20 kilometer radius.....pi r squared...
Half a million acres. 780 square miles--like twice the size of Dallas, Texas.
You'd be spread pretty thin.
The plural of 'anecdote' is not 'data'. ~Roger Brinner
No, we are not equipped, nor are we properly trained. And worst of all, a majority of Defenders do not posses a combat mindset.
Everyone wants to do the cool stuff like go outside the wire, but when you show up to guard mount to defend the base, we're finding Tech Sergeants, Staff Sergeants and Airmen with inoperable weapons due to rust, dirt and mud. They say they're ready for the fight but fail to see the need in carrying NVGs, let alone spare batteries. We're more worried about accounting for exactly 210 rounds of ammunition than we are training for things that can and WILL happen.
It IS a matter of IF, not when. Yet after 5 days in country complacency sets in from the bottom up. QRT going on OTW missions thinking NOTHING will ever happen, yet two Defenders lost limbs last Spring during an OTW mission within a stones throw of the the base. People not carrying their CAT, IFAK or having only a single litter available to evac casualties. Guess what? There were more than one injured Airmen? A single litter will not suffice!
The Air Force WILL NOT prepare Airmen for ground battle. It just won't happen. I spent a few hours on the range with my squad this weekend. I have done what I can do, but a few Airmen just refuse to believe that something WILL happen one day. I can't believe we have Senior Airmen who are still frightened of their M4 during perfect firing conditions on the range. How will they react with a round chambered while going OTW?
How? I'll tell you! During my first OTW in A-stan a young female SrA got nervous and capped a round into the mud during a COIN mission among 30+ Afghan kids. Great COIN mission!!!! Who failed? Not the Airman, but the Air Force failed the Airman because they didn't train her to handle her weapon locked and loaded. Shooting a qual course once or twice a year is NOT combat training, nor is it training at all.
That's like saying a PT test makes you fit.
Unless you're in AFSOC or a TACP, the Air Force will not prepare its Defenders for ground combat. It's a mindset that must be instilled from the very beginning and reinforced each and every day by junior and senior NCOs. Not fat slob wanna-be's.
RTC is a joke. That's all there is to it. Some of those instructors mean well, but in my mind RTC is a hub for people to show off their "experience" and talk a big game. As an example, a SrA was bragging about all his OTW missions during is ONE deployment. Finally I asked him where he deployed and he responded by saying Kyrgyzstan. Really? OTW at Manas? Patrolling the massage parlors I assume?
What a joke.
If you want to live outside the wire at 20K, join the Infantry. I deployed to BAF and the Army is doing a fine job OTW out past 1K.
I'm sure 19 May 10 will be talked about for many many years as the sole ground combat that Security Forces engaged in. Yet, Army and Marine Infantry experience 50 to 200 fire fights during their deployments. Hard to get combat experience looking through the fence, but hey, that's what we signed up for. Defenders of the Force! Once you accept that, you'll sleep better at night.
Stone well said and spot on. The actions of 19 May 2010 were what they were right time, right place. But some of the stories written and spoken of that day have been embellished to a degree. But it is what it is, just like awarding medals to people for responding after the fact to an incident or action.
You ask surviving 1041(T), and 821st, 822nd, and 823rd SafeSide troops about working outside the wire in Vietnam. Everybody didn't go, but some of us were on ambush tean and recon patrols at major installations like DaNang, Phan Rang and a few other outposts, along with 1st Air CAV, 101st Airborne,the US Marines, etc. Who do you think tested early warning systems in a combat environment? Some are still walking around with bullets sstill in them. Oh yes, my man, we wnet through Advanced Infantry Training at Fort Campbell (823rd), Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, and a few went to Fort Polk, La for that training. Ask around. I don't fault you for not having the correct information, but it was "on" like popcone the second time around! And we all volunteered as it was to be the prototype of what security forces is today! Even with the advanced infatry training then, your training now is hands above what we went through to qualify as the first Air Force combat trained light infantry. It was truly an experience of a lifetime! Especially if you came back alive!
Safe Side test program existed about a year during the period from September 1, 1966 to August 11, 1967. The 1041st USAF Security Police Squadron (T) was designated and organized on 1 July 1966. The employment phase within a hostile environment happened at Phu Cat Air Base RVN during the period from January 16, 1967 to July 4, 1967. Unfortunately an absence of enemy attacks against Phu Cat during the period from January 16, 1967 to July 4, 1967 resulted in only two of three objectives being operationally tested. “Officially” the ability of Safe Side units to mobilize and provide sustained firepower from within the confines of the base seems to be the only criterion used to evaluate Safe Side’s success.
The first activated Safe Side unit, the 821st Combat Security Police Squadron (CSPS), deployed to Phan Rang AB in April 1968. The 821st developed the capacity to deploy 33-man elements to any base in the RVN for self- sustaining operations. These elements augmented local base security forces, reinforced those forces under attack, denied the enemy working knowledge of each base’s security posture, and augmented security police units. This concept remained intact for follow-on rotational units.
Each of the other squadrons (822nd and 823rd) deployed to RVN one time each. As the 821st began its second rotation in August 1969, the continued withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam and ensuing budget cuts caused the Air Force to discontinue the Safe Side program. The 822nd and the 823rd CSPS deactivated in December 1969; the 821st CSPS remained in Vietnam until it, too, was deactivated in February 1971.
It would be interesting to get a history of “Safe Side” capability contribution to the defense of Bien Hoa Air Base and Tan Son Nhut Air Base during the Tet Offensive of 1968. Otherwise there is a pretty good telling of events in AFDD 1-1 pages 65-74.
Where are you coming from with this comment, we are discussing the current state of affairs in regards to AF security forces. We are discussing the fact that AF cops are not qualified to conduct combat operations, not a history lesson from VN.
Actually with all the utilization disclosure combined with suggestions of leadership can’t agree on how to effectively utilize Security Forces and Security Forces should be conducting essentially long range surveillance patrols (offensive patrol suggests fighting patrol of dominating an area by harassing all enemy movement in area and raiding enemy positions) exposes the problem extends to even Security Forces members at unit level from commander down to newest member fresh out of technical school can’t agree what to do with themselves.
YouperTJ gave the best response as to the limitations when the overall goal is to hold and protect an airfield or base. The airfield or base in simplest without all the infrastructure to conduct combat air operations out of is a patrol base existing to facilitate patrolling out of. No matter how you cut the mustard or crumble the cookie a secured perimeter and a defense force is needed to secure and protect the patrol base 24 hours each and every day of the week, month and year.
What should be conducted is what is called a standing patrol used for protection in combination with listening posts. The standing patrol are sent out to watch approaches which the enemy is expected to use and to cover dead ground in front of and between defended locations. The best as I can tell CFETP identifies Security Force are trained in the core skills to do this just as well as any infantry soldier. If unit members are unable to do this it is a unit failure of leadership. I referenced AFDD 1-1 as it discloses many Security Forces units did this role and mission in repelling attacks without being a Safe Side designated and trained unit. It also disclosed all the Army helicopter gunship air support that was also needed.
The long range reconnaissance patrol pushing out 13K to 20K is suggesting Security Forces should have and sustain companies of Marine Force Recon capability. An interesting but also unlikely to happen suggestion.
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