Security forces support active-duty, Reserve missions

(U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Carolyn Herrick)

DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — When people think of Air Force security forces, their minds often go immediately to flight line operations, military working dogs, and gate guard duty. But there’s a team of Air Force Reserve security forces members here with a totally unique mission: geographically separated from their parent 920th Mission Support Group at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., the 720th Security Forces Squadron combines traditional reservists and active Guard/Reserve members who support two different entities.

“We are unique because we have both TRs and AGRs,” said Master Sgt. Jessica Orozco, the 720th SFS action officer, who runs the unit with Staff Sgt. Ricardo Delgado, Jr., during the month. “The TR’s mission is to deploy and AGRs are considered deployed in place as they assist the mission of the 610th Command and Control Squadron here.”

She and Delgado spend their time doing administrative work, preparing for unit training assemblies, and behind-the-scenes logistics to enable the squadron’s operations.

“Because we’re a geographically-separated unit, we work alongside the 943rd Rescue Group,” she said. “Although we’re in a really unique position, it’s actually good to be able to network with so many other units. They help us out and we get to build good rapport. Our active-duty security forces counterparts assist with equipment we need to conduct our training.”

And train, they do. Many of the 54 Citizen Airmen assigned bring law enforcement experience from their civilian jobs to complement their Air Force Reserve skill sets. When they arrive for drill weekends, they work on active shooter training; shoot, move and communicate drills; weapons qualification; and professional development, which is important to good order and discipline, she said.

Even in triple-digit Arizona heat, these Reserve warriors are outside wearing protective gear and shooting weapons with simulated munitions, clearing buildings, and driving HUMVEES to keep their skills sharp.

“We are at the tip of the spear for such a young unit,” said Senior Master Sgt. John Newman, 720th SFS manager. “We are very similar to the 944th Security Forces Squadron at Luke Air Force Base – we don’t have a base-level mission that the cops here do.”

Many of the defenders here commute from California and arrived at the squadron straight out of tech school. Although it was a challenge at first to train a majority of the unit from scratch, Newman said it’s turned into a very strong advantage because nearly everyone has been here since the beginning.

“That’s what makes us special,” he said. “Our Airmen are the highest caliber because of the training we provide. We were able to shape their careers to exactly what this mission needs.”