AFSFC-hosted review board focuses on security forces procedures 

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  • By Debbie Aragon
  • AFIMSC Public Affairs

VIDEO | 01:17 | Security Forces Tactics Review Board
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – Defenders from all levels met in San Antonio earlier this month to shape and improve security forces weapons and tactics procedures to ensure the Air Force is ready for the current and future fight.  

The Security Forces Weapons and Tactics Review Board, established in 2022 and hosted by the Air Force Security Forces Center, is part of the Defender Next initiative and aligns with Air Force operations community tactics development and evaluation processes. Defenders and tactics professionals from major commands, numbered air forces, installations security forces groups and squadrons, as well as Guard and Reserve units, crafted tactical improvement proposals and participated in focus groups centered on counter small unmanned aerial systems, a ground threat guide and an enterprise-focused exercise strategy.

The annual event is an opportunity for the security forces weapons and tactics community to “come together as an enterprise to adjudicate tactics improvement proposals in preparation for the Combat Air Forces Weapons and Tactics Conference event in January,” said Chris Alcala, security forces weapons and tactics program analyst at the AFSFC. “It’s a unique opportunity for tactical experts to brief and discuss current capability gaps, look at future challenges and provide warfighter solutions for tactical topics directly to senior leaders.”   

Identifying gaps and finding solutions to close them normally takes place in the field, so assembling the board gets the right people together to solve these security forces problems, Alcala said.  

“With the fiscally constrained environment we’re currently operating in, the importance of finding innovative low- and no-cost solutions to capability gaps is critical,” he said. “Let’s face it, innovation isn’t found from behind a desk; it’s at the warfighter level where the mission is executed daily.”  

October’s Defender Flag field exercise is one example where Airmen representing every MAJCOM helped identify gaps and tested new initiatives for the future fight.  

“Incorporating ground-based agile combat support mission essential tasks into these events alongside our operational mission partners gives us the opportunity to exercise and validate as a component force,” Alcala said. “It also gives us much needed venues to assess and improve established tactics, techniques and procedures through the success or failures of intense realistic training with appropriate, professional debriefs and feedback​ with mission partners.”  

Air Force flag exercises, like Defender Flag and Red Flag, not only give Airmen an opportunity to hone TTPs, but they also allow them an opportunity to make mistakes in training versus in a real-world scenario.   

“It is an important part of the continuous assessment process in tactics development that feed the (board) process.  As threats change and technology advances the need to evolve, our TTPs will always exist and the TRB provides that venue. Ultimately, the participation in flag events like Defender Flag ensures agile combat support warfighter mission essential tasks are appropriately integrated and given consideration when preparing for the next fight,” he said.   

The TRB works on how the security forces enterprise can better align themselves with the Air Force exercise program.

Being better aligned with mission partners and integrating into Red Flag and other exercises helps to get after those objectives, said Master Sgt. Bryan Meraz, lead for the TRB Exercise Integration Focus Group from Moody Air Force Base, Georgia.  

“Events like Defender Flag are extremely important because they allow us to assess the tactics we're currently using and identify any shortfalls. We can then take that information to produce after action reports and lessons learned which are critical for the development and the future of the career field,” said Master Sgt. Terry Myers, co-chairman for the TRB from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey.  

The need to continually assess Warfighter TTPs is necessary, he said, with the security forces, weapons and tactics program formalizing the process for the security forces enterprise … “those tactics improvement proposals and deficiencies are routed through the TRB forum, where groups of subject matter experts and mission partners can adjudicate/refine and outbrief to senior leadership with the goal of incorporation into existing AFTTPs.”  

The AFSFC team is now finalizing discussions and recommendations in preparation for the Combat Air Force Weapons and Tactics Conference, next month hosted by Air Combat Command at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.