Inside the 908th: Security Forces

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Max Goldberg
  • 908th Airlift Wing

Known as “Defenders”, members holding the Security Forces Air Force Specialty Code 3P0X1 are the ground combat force and military police service of the U.S. Air Force. The primary role of Security Forces Airmen is to protect the physical assets of the Air Force and, more importantly, its people.

“Security Forces are often the first military members a visitor to the base encounters,” said Tech. Sgt. Luis Torres-Hernandez, 908th Security Forces assistant noncommissioned officer in charge of Training and Readiness. “We are the first perception of how Airmen conduct themselves and do business.”

Defenders lead, manage, supervise, and perform force protection duties to protect personnel and resources. They are tasked with protecting the installation and everything on it, including nuclear and conventional weapons systems and other critical resources. They perform air base defense functions and contribute to the force protection mission, defending personnel, equipment, and resources from hostile forces throughout military installations.

Defenders operate in various field environments, perform mounted and dismounted individual and team patrol movements, tactical drills, battle procedures, convoys, military operations other than war, antiterrorism duties, and other special duties. They operate communications equipment, vehicles, intrusion detection equipment, individual and crew-served weapons, and other special purpose equipment. Defenders are also trained in self-aid buddy care and life saving procedures as first responders to accident and disaster scenes.

“The training that we do, all the skills we develop such as teamwork and leadership, are useful in all aspects of life,” said Master Sgt. Enrique Castillo Jr., 908th Security Forces noncommissioned officer in charge of Training and Readiness. “It’s not all shooting guns and manning the gates.”

On the law enforcement side of the job, Security Forces personnel enforce standards of conduct, discipline, and adherence to laws and directives. They are responsible for directing vehicle and pedestrian traffic; investigating motor vehicle accidents, minor crimes, and incidents; and operating speed measuring, drug and alcohol, and breath test devices. Defenders secure crime and incident scenes; apprehend and detain suspects; search persons and property; and collect, seize, and preserve evidence. SF Airmen also conduct interviews of witnesses and suspects and obtain statements in order to testify in official judicial proceedings.

Within the Security Forces career field, there are many different specialized jobs ranging from Military Working Dog Handlers who work closely with their K-9 companions to more effectively identify and address threats to Combat Arms Instructors who know every weapon system inside and out and train members on how to be experts with the tools of their profession.

“It’s unique because Security Forces offers multiple opportunities,” said Torres-Hernandez.  “You can explore different specialties like the Ravens (teams of specially trained security forces personnel dedicated to close-in security for aircraft transiting airfields where security is unknown or additional security is needed). Security personnel are not just confined to the base.”

If you are interested in a part-time career with full-time benefits as a Reserve Citizen Airman with the 908th Airlift Wing, please contact our Recruiting staff at 334-953-6737.