Computerized Canines to Join Team Tyndall
325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Tyndall AFB, FL
10 November 2020, Courtesy Story

 

 An unmanned ground vehicle is tested at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Nov. 10, 2020. Tyndall is one of the first military bases to implement the semi-autonomous UGV’s into their defense regiment, they will aid in reconnaissance and enhanced security patrolling operations across the base. (U.S. Air Force photo by A1C Tiffany Price)

 

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – Over the last year, Tyndall Air Force Base and the 325th Security Forces Squadron have been working with Ghost Robotics to develop a system to enhance security and safety for the base population.

Tyndall will be one of the first Air Force bases to implement semi-autonomous robot dogs into their patrolling regiment. These computerized canines demonstrated their abilities Nov. 10 at an event attended by Maj. Gen. Tom Wilcox, Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center commander, and leadership from the 325th Fighter Wing and the Tyndall Program Management Office.

“We are very excited,” said Maj. Jordan Criss, 325th Security Forces Squadron commander. “We are the first unit within the Department of Defense to use this technology for enhanced security patrolling operations.”

While these robots walk on all fours and resemble a dog, they are not intended to replace the military working dogs. Instead they will aid in patrolling operations and, in doing so, allow Tyndall’s defenders to focus their efforts on security actions that require a physical presence.

“These robot dogs will be used as a force multiplier for enhanced situational awareness by patrolling areas that aren’t desirable for human beings and vehicles.” Criss said.

Criss explained that the robot dogs will be given a patrol path which will be set and monitored by the Security Forces Electronic Security Sensor System noncommissioned officer in charge.

“We will be able to drive them via a virtual reality headset within our Base Defense Operations Center,” said Criss. “We will be able to see exactly what the robot dog is detecting through its mobile camera and sensor platform if desired, we will also be able to issue verbal commands to a person or people through a radio attached to the dogs.”

The semi-autonomous canines allow defenders that would otherwise be patrolling these areas to focus on training, security and overall situational awareness across the base.

“These dogs will be an extra set of eyes and ears while computing large amounts of data at strategic locations throughout Tyndall Air Force Base,” Criss said. “They will be a huge enhancement for our defenders and allow flexibility in the posting and response of our personnel.”

This technology has the potential to replace and exceed the capabilities of certain static defense equipment especially in a contingency, disaster, or deployed environment. This makes Tyndall, post Hurricane Michael, the perfect home for the Air Force’s newest computerized canines.

Interested in Law Enforcement and Helping Veterans? VA Police is Hiring!
U.S. Department Veteran Affairs, Vantage Point, 16 October 2020

VA needs to hire law enforcement staff to grow and maintain its 4,000-member police force

Did you know VA that has its own 4,000-member police force? To grow and maintain that workforce, we need to hire police officers, supervisory police officers, and detectives to work at VA medical facilities and national cemeteries around the country. According to the VHA Workforce Management and Consulting office, police officer ranks first on its list of nonclinical shortage occupations.

If you want to help Veterans but don’t have health care experience, you may be interested in a VA law enforcement career. VA police have many, varied duties that benefit not only Veterans, but also the communities they live in. Here are some things you should know about the VA police force:

- Nearly 90% of VA police officers are Veterans.

- With special training to keep Veterans safe, VA police help prevent Veteran suicide, a serious national crisis.

- VA police keep Veterans’ health top-of-mind by enforcing the use of masks and temperature screenings at VA facilities.

- The VA police force includes a K-9 unit.

- The origins of the VA police force date back more than 150 years, to President Abraham Lincoln’s time.

- VA police officers help communities during acts of terrorism and hurricanes, as well as other natural disasters.

During Hurricane Harvey, VA police secured a large truck to safely deliver Dr. Christy Chai to the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (VAMC) to treat a Veteran with a ruptured appendix. The Veteran had been swimming to the VAMC for help. “I drive just a regular old SUV and I could not get out of my garage because of the water,” said Chai, chief of general surgery and surgical oncology at the VAMC. “VA police were actually able to come to my residence.”

Next-generation modern

We’re helping officers perform even more efficiently and effectively through a “next generation” initiative to modernize operations and improve decision making, infrastructure, oversight and accountability. The ultimate goal is to increase the safety and security of Veterans, staff and visitors to VA facilities.

In addition to sharing the mission of serving Veterans and the Veteran community, VA employees can also take advantage of great benefits. These include:

- Generous vacation and sick time. You’ll begin to accumulate vacation time on your very first day and can earn 13-26 days off per year, plus 10 paid federal holidays and 13 sick days.

- Robust health care package. Your health care costs are covered through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, which provides the widest choice of health plans in the country.

- Excellent retirement plan. You can begin saving for retirement through the Federal Employees Retirement System. This three-tier retirement plan includes Social Security benefits, a Thrift Savings Plan and a pension.

- Workplace flexibility. With many VA positions, you can flex your schedule to fit your needs or telework on a regular or occasional basis with a formal agreement.

- Educational assistance. We also offer a wide range of education support programs, including debt reduction and loan forgiveness, training incentive scholarships and programs for Veterans.

Work at VA

With a law enforcement career at VA, you can help Veterans, their family members and your fellow employees stay safe at VA facilities.

SEARCH for a police officer position.

READ about the top 10 reasons to work at VA.

EXPLORE the benefits we offer.

VISIT us the VA Careers website.

https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/79953/interested-law-enforcement-helping-veterans-va-police-hiring/

CONGRATS are in order ….

 

Security Forces Foundation Scholarship Awardees

AFSFA maintains two scholarship funds awarding up to six (6) $500.00 grants yearly. These scholarships are available to all enlisted, active duty, ANG and AF Res Security Forces members in the rank of E-6 and below and their spouses. Filing period is June through August every year and the announcement and forms are found at the AFSFA web site: www.afsfaonline.com

AFSFA congratulates the following recipients for the 2020 AFSFA SFF scholarships:

Charles J. Heubusch Scholarship Fund:          SF Foundation Scholarship Fund:

 SSgt Zujey Chavez-Flores, MacDill AFB, FL     TSgt Ryan T. Dejesus, MacDill AFB, FL

 A1C Marchon R. Walters, MacDill AFB, FL        SrA Caitlin R. Rutan, MacDill, AFB, FL

____________________________________________________________________ 

 

Congratulations to the

2020 Brig Gen Allen J. Jamerson

AFSFA Chapters of the Year:

Chapter of the Year:    Ron Blatman – Evergreen Chapter

Runner Up Chapter of the Year:    Billie Renfroe  Chapter

_____________________________________________________________________


 

Congratulations to

Scott, Karol, Nicole & Alexandra Castillo

as the

2020 Recipients of the Col Jerry M. and Dr Lucille Y. Bullock Service Award

________________________________________________________________________________


Congratulations to

Larry A. Breazeale

and

John L. Lynch

as the

2020 AFSFA Hall of Fame Inductees

Next-Generation Helmets Keep Defenders Lethal, Ready

By Malcolm McClendon, Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center Public Affairs, 8 October 2020

  Airman Alex Orquiza, 71st Security Forces Squadron, wears the next generation of ballistic helmet during a door breaching exercise at Vance Air Force Base, Okla., Sept. 15, 2020. The Air Force Security Forces Center is delivering the helmets to security forces units as part of its effort to standardize and modernize Defender equipment across the Air Force. The new helmets are lighter, cooler, have better padding and come with a built-in railing to fit accessories, such as night vision goggles and tactical communication equipment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Taylor Crul)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas (AFNS) --

The Air Force Security Forces Center is delivering the next generation of ballistic helmets to security forces units as part of its effort to standardize and modernize Defender equipment across the Air Force.

The helmets will replace the Advanced Combat Helmet, which security forces Airmen had to modify and outfit with bulky additions to accomplish different mission sets, said Master Sgt. Markus Nelson, an AFSFC individual equipment manager.

“Defenders perform a variety of duties around the globe, anything from guarding bases in combat environments to protecting nuclear armament,” he said. “In alignment with the Security Forces Enterprise Plan, we had to find a solution to have one standard helmet that would keep all security forces Defenders lethal and ready, no matter the task.”

The new helmet is lighter, cooler, has better padding and comes with a built-in railing to fit accessories, such as night vision goggles and tactical communication equipment, Nelson said.

The 71st Security Forces Squadron at Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma, was the first unit to receive the new helmets and took no time to strap them on.

“It is actually really quick to put on and easily adjustable, allowing me more time to check my Airmen and make sure everyone’s gear is on straight,” said Senior Airman Craig Smith, a 71st SFS Airman. “The biggest improvement I noticed is it’s lightweight and if I take a hard turn in a Humvee, I know I’m not going to break my neck.”

Master Sgt. Darryl Wright, 71st SFS logistics and readiness superintendent, said this is the most agile helmet he’s worn in 19 years as a Defender.

“I just got back from a deployment and this helmet is made for hot areas like that; and even where it’s not as hot, the mobility and light weight of the helmet makes a significant difference in what you can do,” Wright said. “Even back here at home when we do readiness exercises, we bring all our fighting gear, including the helmet. Exercises get you prepared for the fight and having next generation gear like this helmet improves Vance (AFB’s) security readiness.”

Nelson, who is also an experienced defender with 14 years of service, said this is what he and his team at the AFSFC Logistics Directorate work for: to get the right gear to Defenders in garrison and down range.

“My team’s work is directly impacting more than 38,000 Defenders across the Air Force for the next five to 10 years,” Nelson said, “and with the help of strategic partnerships, like those with the 771st Enterprise Sourcing Squadron, we’re doing it a lot quicker too.”

The helmets are part of the AFSFC initiative to modernize weapon systems, individual protective gear, contingency support equipment and deployable communications systems. Those include the M18 modular handgun system, M4A1 assault rifle, M110A1 semi-automatic precision engagement rifle, M320A1 grenade launcher, modular scalable vest and female body armor.

 "We’re identifying salient characteristics of the best individual equipment industry has to offer at the best value to achieve standardization across the force,” said Lt. Col. Barry Nichols, AFSFC director of Logistics. “This effort is instrumental in keeping Defenders throughout the security forces enterprise ready and lethal with procurement of the most cutting-edge and innovative equipment available in order to accomplish missions safely and effectively.”

Military Working Dog Heritage Museum and Handler Center Is Online

By Dixie Whitman

The Fort Benning War Dog Memorial Virtual 20th Dedication and Reunion opened up online on the morning of 8 October 2020 at https://mwdheritagemuseum.org/

“Since the original dedication, the War Dog Monument has provided a sacred place for members of every branch to reunite and rekindle the memories of dog handlers and military working dogs. We are honored to present a virtual 20th reunion tribute, an opportunity to witness a few images of these intimate and emotional events, beginning in 2000. Thanks to everyone who submitted photos and videos for this event.” Albert Johnson, proud partner of Johnny F728

Throughout the years, the Fort Benning War Dog Dedication and Re-dedications honored heroes, provided emotional healing, and connected dog handlers with their legacy. Although events were never the same, their focus always centered around remembrance and respect for the war dog community.

Our organization, Military Working Dog Heritage Museum and Handler Center (MWDHM), focuses both energies and efforts of the military working dog community towards discovering, safeguarding, and preserving the legacy and heritage of work with our cherished K9 partners. We envision ourselves as creators of a dynamic museum which will showcase our K9 heritage while inspiring and educating the leaders of tomorrow.

Cognizant that the museum is a prodigious project, we are sowing seeds of inclusion, creativity, and transparency . As a newly-forming 501 c 3 organization, we  recruited outstanding, passionate leaders from every military branch to serve on our Board of Directors.  We have handlers from the Vietnam War as well as the Global War on Terrorism. We have "been there, done that". 

Our goal is to be accessible and to keep our supporters advised of our activities and progress along the way.  In addition to the current forms of communication, we hope to get a newsletter started soon. We invite you to stop by our website and Facebook page "Military Working Dog Heritage Museum" and encourage us as we grow. This project will require a mighty effort and we will be looking for guidance and support along the way from the entire military working dog community.  The team at MWDHM humbly invites you to join us on this journey.  We may be on the road a little while but the destination will be glorious.   For additional information contact:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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