Air Force reduces number of deployed security forces

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Gary Arasin
  • 9th Air Force Public Affairs
Air Force officials have reduced the number of security forces needed at deployed locations by 10 percent, allowing more than 200 airmen to come home earlier than originally planned.

The adjustment was the result of a manpower assessment and helps reduce the operations tempo for this critically manned career field. Following the review, officials determined more than 300 additional SF positions can be reduced from future air and space expeditionary force deployments.

Technological advances and the findings of an operations review are some of the reasons behind the reductions, said Lt. Col. Troy Robinett, U.S. Central Command air forces' chief of force-protection operations. Guardsmen and reservists currently fill about 95 percent of the reductions identified.

"We have seen many technology advancements that have replaced the need to physically have a person performing certain tasks," Robinett said.

The reductions, while primarily affecting Reserve forces, will affect active-duty forces in the long term. Active-duty forces would eventually have to fill the positions as the Reserve forces are demobilized, said Chief Master Sgt. Ezzard Luke, a security forces scheduler at the Air and Space Expeditionary Force Center at Langley Air Force Base, Va.

"We mobilized a lot of Guard and Reserve forces to meet the initial demand," Luke said. "Even though Reserve forces may be tasked in future rotations, the overall burden would still fall to the active force."

Many of the troops who filled these positions have already been sent home while another large chunk of the positions were eliminated before airmen left for deployed locations.

Senior Air Force officials directed the manpower assessment as they continue to look for ways to minimize tour lengths and tour-length extensions. Officials plan reviews of other "stressed" specialties soon.

A seven-person team led by Robinett carried out the operations review. It consisted of members from CENTAF, the AEF Center, Air Combat Command, Combined Forces Air Component Commander Security Forces and the Air Force Security Forces Center. (Courtesy of ACC News Service)