WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. - Trained and skilled airmen are
critical to national defense, according to AFPAM 36-2241, "The
Professional Development Guide."
contribute to America's safety 24/7 and are trained by a steadfast
team of experts. They have a responsibility for ensuring all members
of the 509th Security Forces Squadron have the knowledge and skills
necessary for defending stealth firepower, protection-level
resources and the Whiteman community.
Airman 1st Class Steven Adler, 509th Security Forces Squadron
response force member, looks down his iron sights to scan his area
of responsibility during a training exercise at Whiteman Air Force
Base, Mo., April 16, 2013. Exercises prepare security forces members
to respond to real-world threats at a moment's notice. (U.S. Air
Force photo by Staff Sgt. Nick Wilson)
“We provide training for everyone from the squadron commander to
airmen fresh out of technical school,” said Staff Sgt. Michael
Krivitza, 509th Security Forces Squadron Phase I trainer.
“Regardless of rank or experience, everyone in our squadron must be
trained on the duties that are specific to Whiteman because we have
a very unique mission.”
The 509th SFS employs three
noncommissioned officers and two civilians, who ensure training
tasks are accomplished. Since SFS airmen are on post around the
clock, trainers are constantly adjusting their schedules to
accommodate different flights.
“We don't have the hours that most office jobs have because our
mission doesn't take place in a normal work week,” said Tech. Sgt.
Jason Douglass, 509th Security Forces trainer. “Some days we could
be here from sun up to sun down and we also have people working at
night. There is also training that we have to provide during our
off-time, so we work crazy hours all the time.”
A major part
of being in the Air Force is being on call at all times, especially
in the security forces career field, said Krivitza.
been doing this long enough to know that my off-duty time can be
taken at any given moment, so I'm prepared for it,” Krivitza said.
“I'd rather offset my schedule for airmen to learn their job than
have them stay late after working a full 12-hour night shift. I can
change my schedule easier than they can change theirs.”
only will airmen benefit from knowledge imparted to them by the
trainers, but the entire base and country benefit from the service
defenders provide, said Douglass.
“In addition to the
squadron benefiting from the mission readiness we support on every
level, America benefits on the bigger, global picture from our
training, because we're mission-ready and we protect America's
assets,” Douglass said. “As we protect the B-2, America benefits
from that security blanket all of our SF members provide day and
Providing training on security and law enforcement
also means ensuring training material is current, said Krivitza.
“We want to give them the latest and greatest training we can as
it comes down from Air Force Global Strike Command,” Krivitza said.
“Providing troops with the most recent information allows them to be
more prepared. For example, the use of force regulation just
changed. So we give that information to all of our airmen and make
sure they understand the changes that were made.”
and Krivitza train airmen on entry breaching techniques, law
enforcement training, active shooter exercises, convoy operations
and major accident response exercises, just to name a few.
“Anything we do in our career field is involved in a training task,”
Douglass said. “All pieces of the security forces puzzle, including
weapons, tactics, vehicle maneuvers, traffic stops, hand cuffing,
searching, building sweeps and protecting resources, have tasks
associated. There are certain tasks and critical certifications that
all of our people must have. We develop, track and implement those
into our daily training plan so they can protect the resources and
people on base.”
The large number of tasks and certifications
can be difficult and overwhelming for most airmen who are new to the
security forces career field, said Krivitza.
“A lot of
airmen come into the military right out of high school and are
working 14-hour shifts, 16-hour shifts and sometimes even longer
shifts,” Krivitza said. “Getting them in the mindset that they're
always on call and keeping them mentally prepared for what they are
going to encounter is a big part of our job.”
When it comes
to security, defenders need to be prepared to handle any real-world
situation they may face, Kravitza said.
“Having the training
not only refreshes the minds of SFS members, but it helps build the
muscle memory they need to complete the steps of each task,”
Kravitza said. “If a real emergency takes place, they can refer back
to their training.”
More photos available below
By USAF Staff Sgt. Nicholas Wilson
Comment on this article