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)


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

“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.

7-9-0 Wins Cheyenne Trophy for Patriotism, Saving Lives, Helping Others
By Joseph Coslett, 90th Missile Wing / Published September 30, 2020

 The 790th Missile Security Forces Squadron Airmen pose for photos with the Cheyenne Trophy on F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, Sept. 10, 2020. The Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce recently presented the Military Affairs Committee’s Cheyenne Trophy to the 790th Missile Security Force Squadron for mission accomplishments, patriotism, off-duty volunteerism and community involvement resulting in a positive impact on the city of Cheyenne and its residents. (U.S. Air Force photos by Joseph Coslett)


The Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce recently presented the Military Affairs Committee’s Cheyenne Trophy to the 790th Missile Security Force Squadron for mission accomplishments, patriotism, off-duty volunteerism and community involvement resulting in a positive impact on the city of Cheyenne and its residents.

Also known as the 7-9-0 with a motto of “second to none,” the actions of the Airmen earned the unit several team and individual awards, including the 90th Missile Wing’s Outstanding Large Security Forces Unit, Air Force Outstanding Flight Level SNCO of the Year, 20th Air Force’s United Services Organization’s Servicemember of the Year and the Nuclear Deterrence Operations NCO of the Year, as well as Air Force Global Strike Command’s Airlift Tanker Association’s Leadership Award.

“The [790 MSFS’s] dedication to the mission truly shows and is something not only the 90th Missile Wing but Cheyenne and all of Wyoming can be proud of,” Ward Anderson, Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee chairman. “Doing the job is one thing, but doing the job right is what sets Wranglers and Cowboys apart.”

The award also recognizes Airmen going above and beyond to help the community. According to the citation, two young Airmen on patrol in Nebraska observed a house on fire. Without hesitation, the Airmen rescued a trapped family inside and assisted volunteer firefighters until the appropriate fire and medical services arrived.

“The men and women of 7-9-0 are dedicated to their service on-and off-duty, and I’m extremely proud of their accomplishments,” said Lt. Col. J. Joseph Zrodlowski. “7-9-0 has always prided itself for executing our mission out in the missile complex, but our Airmen are also passionate and committed to giving back and being a contributing pillar in the local community.”

Senior Airman Jannah Foster, 790 MSFS flight security controller, donates her time to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Wyoming as a big sister to a 12-year-old girl.

“I wanted somewhere where I could interact with kids because I like making people smile,” Foster said.

Another Airman described his time helping two underprivileged children pick toys for the holidays. Senior Airman Ronnie Frey, 790 MSFS response force leader, recounted the father sharing the story of the little girl he was helping.

“The father ended up telling me his daughter’s story. She had a rough upbringing and it is a blessing she is here,” Frey said. “The kids went nuts when they could pick any toy they wanted.”

What touched Frey the most was when the daughter went $40 over the amount of the gift card.

“I just forked over the $40, because she bought gifts for her entire family,” Frey said. “She hugged me and said thank you so much.”

7-9-0 Airmen also organized a team to do a canned food drive and ruck-march event. The food drive raised more than 2,000 pounds of canned goods for the Cheyenne Comea House and Resource Center.

 “Once you volunteer in the community, if feels like home,” said Airman 1st Class Jodie Benally, 790 MSFS commander support staff.

The Airmen all mentioned a story where the commander tells about the importance of teamwork.

“My point of telling this story is that you will fail in our line of work by trying to tackle tasks alone,” Zrodlowski said. “It’s all about teamwork.”

The story goes as follows:

A lion prowled in a field in which four oxen used to dwell. Several times he tried to attack them; but whenever he came near them, the oxen stood tail to tail, so that whichever way the lion approached them he was met by the horns of one of them. At last, however, the oxen fell to quarreling amongst themselves, and each went off to pasture alone in a separate corner of the field. Then, the lion attacked them one by one and soon made an end of all four.

“We must work together to accomplish our mission; that’s how we stay safe and are successful,” Zrodlowski said. “We’re proud to be part of this amazing community and are humbled and honored to be selected as last year’s recipients of this prestigious trophy. Their selfless dedication and contributions to the city of Cheyenne are ‘second to none’.”


SMSgt Cody Stollings, AFSFA member, provided an excerpt from the narrative submitted for the award:

The selfless contributions of the 790th Missile Security Forces Squadron is “Second to None!”—the rally cry of the patriotic men and women of 7-9-0. Our resilient Defenders continue to serve as positive members of the greater community while simultaneously providing world class safety and security to our great nation and its allies. The demonstrated mission excellence, dedication to community, and proud culture of improving the quality of life for Airmen and their communities reflects great credit upon the city of Cheyenne, the state of Wyoming, and the United States of America."

The 790th Missile Security Forces Squadron has won the 90th Missile Wing's Military Affairs Committee "Cheyenne Trophy" for the first time in unit history

Major Jonathon Plyler (Operations Officer) accepting the trophy on behalf of Lt Col Jaroslaw Zrodlowski (Commander) and SMSgt Stollings (Squadron Superintendent) along with 90 MW/CC Colonel Bonetti and Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney.


Partnerships Strengthen Defender Capabilities
By Malcolm McClendon, AFIMSC Public Affairs, 10 September 2020


Through an innovative acquisition model developed by the Air Force Installation Contracting Center, the Air Force Security Forces Center is now able to procure gear and resources for Security Forces Defenders much faster.

The model provides AFSFC with in-house, dedicated contracting subject matter experts from AFICC’s 771st Enterprise Sourcing Squadron’s Security and Protection Flight to handle strategic acquisition efforts for individual protective equipment, deployment-ready logistics detail equipment, small arms and light weapons accessories, and non-lethal weapon systems.

“For years, acquisition of Security Forces individual equipment and commodities was de-centralized and left to MAJCOMs and units to determine their own funding solutions and the right equipment for their mission,” Lt. Col. Barry Nichols, Director of Logistics at AFSFC, said. “Now under the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center construct, AFICC is able to support AFSFC with dedicated contracting SMEs and provide us the agility to execute quicker contracts, focus on strategic cost management, use market intelligence for data-driven decisions, and deliver products and services expeditiously to warfighters around the globe, making them even more lethal and ready.”

At AFSFC’s Desert Defender Ground Combat Readiness Training Center in Fort Bliss, Texas, Master Sgt. Clinton Duling, Security Forces Unit Type Code Manager, depends on this agile support to help acquire modernized and standardized expeditionary assets for deployed Defenders.

“When we get a request for equipment and support, we need to get it turned around ASAP, so we’re always looking into new processes or solutions to do that better,” Duling said. “The fact that we can identify a requirement to allow us to better support Defenders down range, and have a contract put in place just a short time after, is priceless.” 

The efficiencies of working with dedicated contracting specialists from the 771st have also helped AFSFC find standardized solutions for new M18 pistol holsters and new next-generation ballistic helmets to replace the legacy Advanced Combat Helmet, providing more protection and better fit for Airmen, Nichols added.

“As the success of this model continues to grow, Airmen and warfighters are going to continue to see that the Air Force Security Forces Center is constantly leaning forward to deliver modernized and innovative equipment solutions, and getting them into the hands of our Defenders as rapidly and efficiently as possible,” Nichols said.

Part of the AFIMSC portfolio, AFICC provides responsive and mission-enabling enterprise acquisition solutions for efficient and effective mission and installation operations across the Air Force, and AFSFC develops, delivers and executes security forces capabilities and associated programs for AF and Joint mission sets enabling a safe and secure operating environment.

New SF Career Field Manager Takes Office


Join me in welcoming Chief Master Sergeant Brian L. Lewis to the Air Staff. This was his first week as the Security Forces Career Field Manager! Chief Lewis has an impressive background and skillset needed in an environment where we are making huge changes in the career field. I look forward to working with Chief Lewis. His background is perfect for the Defenders we serve.  VR – Brig Gen Collins


Chief Master Sergeant Brian L. Lewis is the Security Forces Manager for Air Force Global Strike Command. Chief Lewis provides executive management and support to over 5,800 Security Forces Airmen assigned to nine wings at eight installations. He serves as the command’s primary Security Forces advisor on enlisted issues and interprets and ensures enforcement of nuclear and non-nuclear policy directives in order to execute combatant command war time taskings. He has held a variety of positions in the Security Forces career field, to include anti-terrorism officer, air base defense instructor and Major Command Inspector General Inspector.

Prior to assuming his current position, Chief Master Sergeant Lewis served as the Chief Enlisted Manager, 90th Security Forces Group, Francis E. Warren AFB, Wyoming.

1992 Security Police Technical School, Lackland AFB, TX
1992 Air Base Ground Defense Level I, Fort Dix, NJ
1996 Air Combat Command Pre-Ranger School, Nellis AFB, NV
1999 Airmen Leadership School (John Levitow Recipient), Aviano AB, Italy
2001 US Army Air Assault School (Distinguished Graduate), Ft Polk, LA
2002 Dynamics of International Terrorism, Hurlbert Field, FL
2002 Antiterrorism Instructor Qualification Course, Ft. Bragg, NC
2003 NCO Ground Combat Skills Level II (AETC Commander’s Award), Camp Bullis, TX
2003 Advanced Patrol Course, International Special Training Center, Pfullendorf, Germany
2004 USAF NCOA (Commandant’s Award & Distinguished Graduate), Kapaun AS, Germany
2007 Air Base Defense Command Course Level IV, Lackland Air Force Base, TX
2010 Deliberate & Crisis Action Planning Execution Manager, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH
2010 USMC Advanced Officer’s Course, Quantico, VA
2012 Defense Threat Reduction Agency Nuc Wpns Inspection Crse, Kirtland AFB, NM
2012 USAF Inspection Agency Basic & Nuc Surety Inspection Crses, Barksdale AFB, LA
2014 Defense Threat Reduction Agency Nuc Response Directors Crse, Barksdale AFB, LA
2016 Chief’s Leadership Course, Gunter Annex, AL


  1. December 1992 – June 1995, Response Force Member and Nuclear Weapons Storage Area Entry Controller, McConnell Air Force Base, KS
  2. June 1995 – July 2001, Master Facility Operator, Combat Readiness Forces Instructor and NCOIC, 31st Fighter Wing Antiterrorism/Force Protection, Aviano Air Base, Italy
  3. July 2001 – August 2004, NCOIC, USEUCOM Antiterrorism/Force Protection Level II Training Course and NCOIC, USAFE Regional Training Center “Creek Defender,” Sembach Air Station, Germany
  4. August 2004 – August 2006, NCOIC, Security Forces Training, Protection Level 1 Flight Chief, and Standardization Evaluator, Incirlik Air Base, Turkey
  5. August 2006 – December 2009, NCOIC, Integrated Base Defense for Air Combat Command’s Regional Training Center “Silver Flag Alpha,” Creech Air Force Base, NV
  6. December 2009 – April 2012, Superintendent, Plans and Deployments, Headquarters, Air Force Global Strike Command, Barksdale Air Force Base, LA
  7. April 2012 – November 2013, Superintendent, Support Branch Inspections, Office of the Inspector General, Headquarters, Air Force Global Strike Command, Barksdale Air Force Base, LA
  8. November 2013 – June 2015, Superintendent, Operations, 2d Security Forces Squadron, Barksdale Air Force Base, LA
  9. June 2015 – February 2016, Security Forces Manager, 620th Ground Combat Training Squadron, Camp Guernsey, WY
  10. February 2016 – September 2017, Security Forces Manager, 90th Security Forces Squadron, Francis E. Warren Air Force Base, WY
  11. September 2017 – August 2018, Chief Enlisted Manager, 90th Security Forces Group, Francis E. Warren Air Force Base, WY
  12. August 2018 – Present, Security Forces Manager, Headquarters, Air Force Global Strike Command, Barksdale Air Force Base, LA

Meritorious Service Medal with 7 oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with 2 oak leaf clusters
Air Force Achievement Medal with 5 oak leaf clusters
Naval Achievement Medal
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with valor and 11 oak leaf clusters
Valorous Unit Award
Kosovo Campaign Medal with 1 device
Iraq Campaign Medal with 2 devices

Chief Master Sergeant – 1 January 2016

(Current as of September 2018)

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