Attrition: USAF Forms A Posse Of Deputies


July 16, 2009: Because so many U.S. Air Force security personnel are being sent to combat zones (to guard air force equipment and personnel, or to augment the army), there is a shortage of security personnel for existing air force base security duties. So, in some cases, the shortage is addressed by transferring airmen from non-security jobs to the security forces. These airmen are given a six day crash course on basic security procedures, and then put to work temporarily (for one or more months), under the supervision of experienced security force airmen.

The 24,000 professional air force security personnel are also trained to use infantry weapons and tactics, in addition to their police and security training. While it only takes six days to train the average airman in basic security procedures, an 18 day long Ground Combat Skills course (GCS) is provided for most airmen headed for Iraq, Afghanistan or South Korea. The training includes handling weapons, as well as a large variety of ground vehicles (including forklifts), in a combat situation. The last two days of the course are spent in the field, running through realistic situations, often using live ammunition. The most intense combat exercises use simunitions. These are low velocity, non metal bullets fired by (modified) standard weapons. The simunitions will sting (and leave a paint spot on your uniform) if they hit, and this adds another layer of realism to the exercise. Nearly all the instructors have already served in a combat zone, and the training is constantly updated with new information from the combat zone. The last 48 hours involves sleep deprivation, night operations, convoys and the kind of stress to be found in ground combat.

 But for guarding base entrances and high security facilities, six days will do it, and that frees up the professional security personnel to do the heavy lifting in combat zones.



Article Archive

Attrition: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close