Defenders - congratulations on your selection for Group Command! This is a significant milestone in your careers and for many of you, this represents the first time as senior leaders you will be asked to take off the beret and lead Airmen performing missions outside our core skill set. Continue to be an Ambassador for the Defenders, while building bridges for us with the rest of the Air Force, our joint and coalition partners, and the communities we serve. You should be well proud of this accomplishment. Please thank your families for the role they've played in supporting your service as an Airman, take time to celebrate this achievement, and thank the Airmen serving with and for you for being great teammates. Well done!

- Col (S) Jason Beck to 17th Mission Support Group

- Col Matthew Boschert to 99th Mission Support Group

- Col John Grimm to 90th Security Forces Group

- Col Aaron Guill  to 341st Security Forces Group

- Col Philip Holmes to 35th Mission Support Group

- Col Don Layne to 78th Mission Support Group

- Col (S) Leonard Rose to 88th Mission Support Group

- Col David Williams to 39th Mission Support Group


Defensor Fortis,
Director of Security Forces
DCS/Logistics, Engineering & Force Protection



(rank, name and new unit of command)

Maj Donald F. Bartholomew III - 19 SFS, Little Rock AFB

Maj Ryan Barton - 9 SFS, Beale AFB

Lt Col Patrick J. Bass – 380 ESFS, Al Dhafra AB

Maj(s) Daniel J. Beaudoin – 91 SSPTS, Minot AFB

Lt Col Johnathan E. Bennett – 341 MSFS, Malmstrom AFB

Lt Col(s) Tyrone P. Bess – 741 MSFS, Malmstrom AFB

Lt Col Mark W. Breed – 379 ESFS, Al Udeid AB

Capt Steven C. Brenoskie – AFSFC Det 2, Miramar NAS

Maj William J. Brokaw - 82 SFS, Sheppard AFB, TX

Maj David E. Bullock - 377 SSPTS, Kirtland AFB

Maj Michael J. Cheatham - 374 SFS, Yokota AB

Maj(s) Michael R. Cheng - 736 SFS, Andersen AFB

Lt Col(s) Brian J. Copper Jr. – 8 SFS, Kunsan AB

Lt Col Marcus Corbett - 10 SFS, USAFA

Lt Col Kim M. Crawford – 42 SFS, Maxwell AFBL

Lt Col Erik L. Dutkiewicz – 86 SFS, Ramstein AB

Maj(s) Eric J. Eaton – 14 SFS, Columbus AFB

Maj Phillip B. Ferris – 48 SFS, Lakenheath RAF

Maj(s) Tyler J. Hughes – 455 ESFS, Bagram AB

Maj Pedro Jimenez – 97 SFS, Altus AFB

Maj Eric C. Judd – 377 SFS, Kirtland AFB

Maj Michael J.Kennedy – 354 SFS, Eielson AFB

Lt Col David M. Knight – 21 SFS, Peterson AFB

Lt Col(s) Jose A. Lebron – 78 SFS, Robins

Maj Min Y. Lee – 17 SFS, Goodfellow AFB

Maj Alexander Liggett – 11 SSFS, JB Andrews

Lt Col Brian S. Loveless – 56 SFS, Luke AFB

Lt Col Steven R. Lovett – 52 SFS, Spangdahlem AB

Maj Cameron Maher – 92 SFS, Fairchild AFB

Lt Col Tyrell Mayfield -- 75 SFS, Hill AFB

Lt Col Anthony McCarty -- 90 MSFS, FE Warren AFB

Maj(s) Matthew C. McGinnis 47 SFS, Laughlin AFB

Lt Col Kevin McMahon – 91 MSFS, Minot AFB

Lt Col Jason Medsger – 49 SFS, Holloman AFB

Lt Col Michael J. Morales – 436 SFS, Dover AFB

Maj Adam Morgan – 821 SFS, Thule AS

Maj Jonathon Murray – 81 SFS, Keesler AFB

Maj Shannon E. O’Neal – 1 SOCSF, Hurltburt Field

Lt Col Tara L. Opielowski – 18 SFS, Kadena AB

Maj(s) Christopher H. Osborne – 71 SFS, Vance AFB

Lt Col Joseph J. Parsons – 377 WSSS, Kirtland AFB

Maj Gerald Patton – 823 BDS, Moody AFB

Maj Clifford M. Piernick – 36 SFS, Andersen AFB

Maj Brenton K. Pomeroy – 27 SOCSF, Cannon AFB

Maj(s) Taylor E. Reynolds – 61 SFS, Los Angeles AS

Maj Schneider Rislin – 319 SFS, Grand Forks AFB

Maj Aaron W. Rittgers – 88 SFS, Wright Patterson AFB

Maj(s) Tito M. Ruiz – 387 ESFS, Kuwait City Int Airport

Maj Brian M. Rutt -- 423 SFS, RAF Alconbury

Maj Nicole M. Schatz - Soto Cano JTFB

Lt Col Christopher M.Sheffield – 879 ESFS, Eskan Village

Lt Col Kenneth M. Shirley – 811 SFS, JB Andrews

Maj Brett M. Skates – 66 SFS, Hanscom AFB

Lt Col(s) William C. Smith – 55 SFS, Offutt AFB

Maj David M.Stamper – 7 SFS, Dyess AFB

Maj Derek M. Tosie – 65 SFS, Lajes AB

Maj Joshua A. Webb – 91 STS, Minot AFB

Lt Col Douglas W. Whitehead – 802 SFS, JBSA-Lackland

Maj Aaron W. Williams – 386 ESFS, Al Salem

Maj Damien P. Williams – 343 TRS, JBSA-Lackland

Lt Col(s) Lawrence Wyatt Jr – 100 SFS, RAF Mildenhall

AFSFA Career Field Artwork Series Goes On Sale!


You can now own a piece of your career field history. AFSFA has commissioned the first in a series of AP, SP, SF history prints, and it is now available through the AFSFA Country Store online  or by calling 888-250-9876 or 210-277-0448.

The first print, “Air Force Security Police, Proven In Battle,” commemorates the battle and sacrifice by the Security Police of the 3d and 377th Security Police Squadrons on the 31st of January 1968 at Bien Hoa and Tan Son Nhut Airbases, Republic of Vietnam.

Randall Stevens, the artist, has captured in the unbelievable detail of technical pen the relentless efforts and determined spirit of the Security Police. The action scenes are pure black and white with only the medals and squadron patches bearing aged and worn color. When asked about his final product Randall stated, “It was an honor to have been selected to create this work for The Air Force Security Forces Association. For the better part of 2016, and through five drafts, I strived to ensure an accurate portrayal about the TET Offensive. I am honored to have been a part of this venture.”

The prints measure 30” by 20”, arrive rolled in mailing tubes ready to frame and each is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. All 300 prints are hand numbered, but only the Artist Edition is hand signed. Specific numbered prints cannot be requested.

            Artist Edition (#11-100, hand signed and hand numbered) -- $99.99

            Military Edition (#101-300, hand numbered) -- $79.99

Acknowledging Domestic Terror Threat, Pentagon Says Troops, Recruiters Can Carry Concealed Guns

By: Jeffrey Schogol, November 21, 2016 (Photo Credit: Jeff Schogol), Military Times

U.S. military personnel can now request to carry concealed handguns for protection at government facilities, according to new Defense Department directive issued last week in response to a series of deadly shootings over the last seven years.

While service members already were authorized to carry weapons as part of specific job responsibilities, the new policy allows them to apply to carry their privately owned firearms “for personal protection not associated with the performance of official duties,” the directive says.

It also clarifies when military recruiters can be armed, said Army Maj. Jamie Davis, a Defense Department spokesman.

“Commanders have always had that authority to arm recruiters,” Davis told Military Times on Monday. “Some of the wording wasn’t very clear, so they’ve gone through and cleaned it up so it is very clear now that the commanders have that authority to use at their discretion.”

Effective Nov. 18, the directive culminates years of work, Davis said.

The effort began after the 2009 shooting at Fort Hood in Texas, where former Army Maj. Nidal Hasan killed 13 people and wounded more than 30 others. It accelerated after the July 2015 attacks on a recruiting station and Navy reserve center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. That incident claimed the lives of four Marines and a sailor. Both lone-wolf attacks were believed to be inspired by international terrorism. 

In April 2014, Spc. Ivan Lopez-Lopez killed three soldiers at Fort Hood and wounded 12 others after an argument. Lopez-Lopez killed himself when confronted by a military police officer.

The updated policy spells out when troops can carry government-issued weapons as part of their official duty and when they can carry their own firearms for protection. The directive does not apply to troops in war zones or members of the National Guard who are not working in a federal status.

Those wishing to carry a concealed personal firearm on Defense Department property must apply for permission. They have to be at least 21 years old and meet all federal, state and local laws and host-nation requirements the directive says.

The individual military services will determine requirements for those who will grant conceal-carry requests, the directive says. Those officials must have a minimum rank of lieutenant colonel, commander or the civilian equivalent.

“These authorizations will be for a maximum of 90-calendar-day increments and may be renewed for as long as the threat or circumstance necessitating arming exists,” according to the directive.

Service members will not be given permission to carry a concealed handgun if they have violated the Uniform Code of Military Justice “for any offense that calls into question the individual’s right to carry a firearm,” or if they have been convicted or face charges in civilian courts, the directive says.

The updated policy makes clear that Defense Department personnel can be armed, “when there is a general or specific threat of possible harm directed against them when that threat relates to the person’s official duties or status.”

That means troops at recruiting stations and reserve centers can be armed if their commanders grant approval, Davis said. The commanders will determine what type of threat their recruiters face and what protective equipment recruiters should be issued.

However, recruiters and other service members who are not security personnel cannot bring firearms to an off-base location that is guarded by police or security guards, the directive says.

“For example, DoD personnel assigned to recruiting duties should not be armed when visiting high schools that have law enforcement or security personnel on site.”

Goodbye Mica, Thank You

By Tech. Sgt. Javier Cruz, 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs / Published November 15, 2016

Tyndall Airmen provide a final salute to retired U.S. Air Force Military Working Dog, Mica T204, at the end of her final patrol Nov. 14, 2016 at Tyndall Air Force Base. Mica provided over 4,500 hours of counter-explosive operations and installation protection for more than 45 air assets and 7,000 military, civilian, and retired personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Javier Cruz/Released)

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - In the early morning hours, Tyndall Airmen paid final respects to one of their own as they prepared for one final patrol together.

Retired military working dog Mica was laid to rest Nov 14 after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Mica was retired from service in February from the 325th Security Forces Squadron. She was assigned to Tyndall Air Force Base from Nov. 26, 2012 to Feb. 19, 2016.

According to Mica’s Air Force Commendation Medal, she distinguished herself in the performance of outstanding service to the United States as a patrol and explosive detector dog.

Mica provided over 4,500 hours of counter-explosive operations and installation protection for more than 45 air assets and 7,000 military, civilian and retired personnel. She served in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom, New Dawn, Enduring Freedom, and Inherent Resolve.

After returning from her last deployment Mica was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. She received round-the-clock care from her dog handlers after surgery.

“We all took turns taking care of her after one of her surgeries, just like you would an infant, feeding her and bathing her -- it was a rough two weeks,” said Tech. Sgt. Eric B. Hoffman, NCO in charge of the Military Working Dog section. “These dogs live their lives in literal service, so it’s important to us to show that respect when their time is done. She lasted a lot longer than anyone said she would and she had people around her who really cared for her a lot.”

Mica was adopted by Maj. Mari Metzler, 325th Aerospace Medical Squadron aerospace physiology flight commander.

“She was playing with a toy when I came to see her, I went into the kennel and sat down cross-legged. She put her paws up on my knees and just kind of stared at me and we just hit it off,” Metzler said. “I fell in love with her right there.”

On the first day Mica was released to Metzler, the pair immediately started to bond.

“We went straight to the beach the first day and just ran. Ever since then, I would take her out every day for runs on the beach. We did that for a solid seven months,” Metzler said.

Mica’s condition would eventually deteriorate and her retirement cut short.

“She is, and always will be, a military working dog, the final patrol was the perfect tribute to her because that’s always in her heart,” she said. “She’s real special, and I was so lucky. She was very beautiful, I’m just happy that she’s home.”

Mica’s former handler, Staff Sgt. Justin J. Paczesny, had this to say about her in an emotional social media post, “My baby girl, three and a half years together side by side. The cancer has taken its toll and she is being taken from this earth far before her time. Best four legged partner a man could ask for. MWD MICA T204 ‘Princess of Tyndall,’ I love you. All dogs go to heaven, especially a Guardian of the Night.”

Surrounded by familiar faces and family members, Mica and Metzler walked down a pathway lined with Airmen rendering the final salute.

Safeguarding the Airfield: CRG Defenders Provide Air Base Defense in Northern Iraq

By Staff Sgt. Charles Rivezzo, U.S. Air Forces Central Command Public Affairs / Published November 21, 2016


 U.S. Air Force Capt. Scott Hlavin, 821st Contingency Response Group defense force commander, scans the horizon while assisting in a perimeter watch at Qayyarah West Airfield, Iraq, Nov. 17, 2016. The 821st CRG is highly-specialized in training and rapidly deploying personnel to quickly open airfields and establish, expand, sustain and coordinate air mobility operations in austere, bare-base conditions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jordan Castelan)

QAYYARAH WEST AIRFIELD, Iraq -- Giulio Douhet's military concept states, "the only effective way to counter air power is to destroy its bases on the ground."

As such, air base defense serves as the core of Air Force security forces' doctrine. It's the foundation from which the career field planted its roots.

"The history books of security forces are riddled with examples of how air bases, when defended by the Army, weren't sufficient," said Capt. Scott Hlavin, 821st Contingency Response Group defense force commander. "Not because the Army personnel weren't trained or capable. They just weren't air minded. That's where the security forces defender comes into play."

Today, the Defenders assigned to the 821st CRG hold the pen in their hands to write the pages of history. They are on the front lines in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, providing air base defense for Qayyarah West Airfield in northern Iraq.

Situated just 30 miles south of Mosul, Qayyarah West Airfield is a strategic launching pad and frontline resupply depot. It is one of the northern-most hubs for coalition airpower in Iraq.

The contingent of Defenders here is responsible for the security and safeguarding of a five kilometer airfield.

“Our mission is threefold, it includes working with our joint partners [Army], our Iraqi brethren, and the one we take most personally, defending this air base to allow for unhindered air operations”, said Hlavin.

"An airfield is vulnerable," he said. "We have the world’s greatest Air Force. When we are in the air no one can touch us, but when we are on the ground we are just as vulnerable as the next guy. Our aircraft are too valuable and too important as strategic platforms in the fight against [ISIL] or whoever the enemy may be. It's our mission to ensure our air base is ready to go."

Since the 821st CRG's arrival in mid-October, security forces personnel have secured an additional kilometer perimeter around the airfield; hardening defenses and enabling security resources to be freed up for supplementary operations.

"This is definitely something you read about in history books and never think you will be part of it," Hlavin said. "A lot of times we are behind the front lines. But here at Qayyarah West, our core principles of integrated air base defense are alive and well."

CRG Defenders

The 821st CRG is highly-specialized in training and rapidly deploying personnel to quickly open airfields and establish, expand, sustain and coordinate air mobility operations in austere, bare-base conditions.

"Our forces set the stage for that gap between the Army seizing an airfield and our follow-on forces setting up an even more in-depth posture to protect our assets on the ground," said Hlavin. "In order to achieve that end state, you have to maximize your efforts, your firepower, your weapon systems and you have to have the right people."

Hlavin added that while his Defenders are young, they have grown during their time at Qayyarah West.

Senior Airman Jonathan Sorber, 821st CRG first in security team member, is on his first deployment and is one of those Airmen. His duties situate him on the edge of the fight against ISIL. In full kit and armed with a M240 Bravo, he scans out across the unimpeded terrain surrounding the air base. He is the first line of defense for the sprawling airfield.

"My mission here is to support the opening of the air base and provide elite airfield security," said Sorber. "We work every day, providing security on the frontlines. Ultimately, we are the ones between the bad guys and our guys, and at the end of the day when everyone makes it home safe, we know we did our jobs."

Defenders bear the responsibility for the safekeeping of their fellow Airmen. They are the "sheep dogs." The hours are unforgiving and the shifts often isolating, but their mission remains essential to the overarching objective of projecting superior airpower within the region.

"It’s not easy joining up to go to war," Hlavin said. "You find yourself thrust in your first deployment here in the middle of Iraq. It’s not easy. But seeing the troops actually grow and learn, watching them grow out here in the real deal is humbling; coming back with smiles on their faces knowing they kept the base safe on their shift."

Developing Relationships

In addition to air base defense, an essential function of the 821st CRG Defenders' role at Qayyarah West remains increasing interoperability with their Iraqi counterparts.

"Our end goal is to start furthering our training with our Iraqi partners," Hlavin said. "We want to get them up in the towers, out on the berm and running their own security. We want to ensure that when we hand this base off to them they have the power projection capability to defeat future threats"

Although the language barrier remains an obstacle, Hlavin said relationships continue to develop.

"You see that they aren't much different than we are," he said. "Many of them are young, have families and are fighting for the future of their country.

"It's exciting to watch and see what the future of Iraq is. We have a lot of friends who started this over a decade ago feeling as though their sacrifices were for nothing. Today, we are here watching them have their airplanes flying and fighting a common enemy. It’s a humbling experience to be a part of."

Make a Difference!  Donate.

Join Us.

35th National Meeting
The Inn at Opryland
2401 Music Valley Drive
Nashville, TN 37214

17-22 August 2021
Group: AFSFA 35th Nat Mtg

36th National Meeting
Dayton, OH
21-25 September 2022