Deputy Director's Introduction ...

By Heidi Scheppers


Defenders -- I am honored to be back with the Defender team as your Deputy Director of Security Forces. I was humbled when Brig Gen Tullos selected me -- sometimes you don’t appreciate the value or worth of something until it’s gone. I am rejoining the team after 14 years serving in other services, agencies and learning about warfighting of other domains, I’ve missed our Defender spirit and tenacity. This is an exciting time for Security Forces and big changes are a foot. The Reconstitute Defenders Initiative is in full swing with Brig Gen Tullos and Chief Hartz leading the way. This plan restores readiness, revitalizes the Security Forces organizations at all levels and builds a more lethal force. The enterprise-wide effort is aimed at aggressively delivering Security Forces capable of protecting, defending and fighting to enable Air Force, Joint, and Coalition missions across the full-spectrum of operating environments. The Reconstitute Defender Initiative is a huge undertaking and enormous changes have already been made in training, weapons modernization and equipment.

Over the past 14 years, I have been immersed in the world of program management focused on capability and cyberspace platform development and building the human capital framework to support the mission. I am going to take this knowledge and experience, focus on closing the Security Forces technology gap and help move Brig Gen Tullos’ Reconstitute Defenders Initiative forward. I’ll share a few things we are working on.

First up, if you didn’t know, we are in the process of fielding digital fingerprinting Air Force-wide with an estimated completion date of October 2018. The fielding is in lock-step with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations and our Army counterparts. Digital fingerprinting is one piece of a larger Integrated Defense infrastructure we are developing as an Air Force and Sister Service community. New capabilities are under development in biometrics and evidence accountability, criminal case management and confinement systems along with a global blotter initiative that will allow for trend analysis, compliance checks and hopefully negate the need for last-minute data calls. We are leveraging what has already been modernized, built, fielded and tested by our sister services and our data will be shared and integrated with our service and Air Force Office of Special Investigation teammates. Our squadrons are our Air Force’s essential fighting force and the technological burden cannot add to the manpower burden, it must empower the squadron to accomplish the mission. Deliberate actions are being taken to ensure all technological advances will translate into making our squadrons more effective.

For our Department of the Air Force Security Forces civilians, I am working with our career field teams to develop a career path allowing for advancement and growth within the Security Forces and the larger Logistics, Engineering and Force Protection community. We need our civilian Defenders to provide continuity and fill the gaps created by resource constraints and deployments. We are looking at how you can grow from an entry-level Security Police GS-5 to an Air Force Logistics, Engineering and Force Protection GS-15, providing the training, education and experience required to meet our Security Forces mission and your professional goals.

The future is awesome! I am so excited to talk with all of you and hopefully get to see you at this year’s AFSFA National Meeting in Sacramento, California. I understand this is a great time and an opportunity for all of us to honor our heritage, learn from Defender trail blazers and chart the best path forward for our Airmen.

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