Following force reductions in 2014, career fields around the Air Force likely experienced manpower strains in daily operations – the 56th Security Forces Squadron was no exception to these cuts.
In September 2013, the squadron was authorized 185 active-duty members. By October 2014, the unit was reduced to a mere 136 active-duty members.
With these reductions, management searched for solutions to offset the manpower shortage, yet still have the ability to maintain security of the installation and continue to allow installation gates to remain open to the community. Some immediate solutions were the reassigning of administrative jobs and redistributing additional duties to other personnel in the unit. However, more was needed to align the right posture for security. This was when the concept of joining forces with our Navy counterparts at Luke came to light.
The security forces leadership team met with the Navy master of arms leadership team at the Naval Operations Support Center and discussed the possibility of joining forces. The teams developed the idea and then drafted the first-ever joint security posting memorandum of agreement. The agreement consisted of training, equipping and certifying the master of arms personnel to enable them to provide base security services to the community, thus adding additional manpower to daily operations. By the beginning of 2015, the concept of a joint security force at Luke became a reality.
In the past few months, you may have notice Navy personnel posted with security forces members. If you attended the NFL Pro Bowl practice or the VH1 concert, you likely noticed them standing guard for the events. In February, the Integrated Medical Services Marathon took place on the installation and our Navy partners assisted with security for the runners. In June, Navy master of arms personnel stood post at the South Gate directing traffic onto the installation during their drill weekend and attended combat arms training, qualifying on their firearms.
“We are extremely fortunate to have the master of arms contribute to the mission at Luke,” said 1st Lt. Jonathan Warzeka, 56th SFS operations officer. “Together, the units have worked tirelessly to make this joint effort happen.”
Be on the lookout for our Navy partners on post as they will join security forces personnel during their next drill weekend Sept. 25 through 27.