A program developed by security professionals, for security professionals, is now giving Edwards employees the chance to further their careers and enhance security at base units.
The Defense Security Service’s Security Professional Education Development program, or SPeD, provides online training and exams that, once passed, leads to a Department of Defense level certification for security specialists and managers.
For the first time here in the high desert, a ceremony was held May 31 to hand out certificates to 23 Team Edwards and Southern California government security professionals who have passed the exams and are now DOD certified security professionals.
“We finally have a security professional development program for DOD,” said Denise Humphrey, Deputy Director, Center for Development of Security Excellence Directorate at DSS. She traveled from the East Coast to speak at the certification ceremony.
“For the longest time we were struggling. How do we move ahead? What do we do to professionalize ourselves? Because, in today’s world, security is truly a profession and not a job.”
Humphries emphasized that the world is changing and so are security requirements.
“We’re facing a time where cyber security is becoming a part of our everyday language when it comes to security.”
All the conferees completed the DSS’s Security Fundamentals Professional Certification, which certifies the individuals understand foundational security concepts, principles and practices.
Security professionals have to be adept in different aspects of security such as information security, personnel, industrial and operations security.
Additionally, much of the class completed the more advanced Security Asset Protection Professional Certification where individuals applied foundational security concepts, principles and practices.
“The SFPC is a certification examination which provides an assessment of a security specialist’s knowledge and skills of the fundamentals of DOD security policy and procedure,” said Danny Tinnin, 95th Air Base Wing Information Protection Test Program Security chief. “The SAPPC is a scenario-based exam which assesses our skills and ability to apply that security policy and procedure toward effectively managing a security program.”
Tinnin added that a better trained and professionalized security workforce means a higher degree of excellence in the service provided to the base organizations.
“In today’s challenging environment, there is an urgent need for highly competent security professionals who have broad knowledge, broad depth and broad skillsets to be able to handle all of the disciplines that are required for the mission to get done,” said Gregory Schwab, 95th Air Base Wing commander. “I can tell you from a DOD professional that our combat edge is what you protect. We absolutely need that technological edge when we go into battle and you all make that happen and we deeply appreciate it.”
Tinnin said being able to conduct testing at Edwards was a three-month process that took some coordination and an overall team effort.
“It started out with a teaming effort with members of both the 95th Forces Support Squadron and the 95th ABW Information Protection Office,” said Tinnin.
“First, we had to gain approval from the Air Force SPeD Program Management Office to conduct testing here. Once we gained that approval, it was a joint AF SPeD PMO, DSS SPeD PMO and the Edwards team in the planning, scheduling, advertising, rehearsing and execution of the certification testing.”
This effort resulted in the conduct of eight testing events over a three-week period with 100 participants. Of those 100 participants from the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and contractor communities within the local Southern California area, 36 of those achieved a professional certification.