HomeNewsArticle Display

Squadron of the Future: Creating more effective defenders

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Cameron Rogers, 422nd Security Forces Squadron installation entry controller, clears an M4 carbine during a recall exercise at RAF Croughton, England, November 21, 2019. Quarterly recall exercises are a form of readiness for defenders to always be prepared to respond at a moment’s notice. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)

Airman 1st Class Cameron Rogers, 422nd Security Forces Squadron installation entry controller, clears an M4 carbine during a recall exercise at RAF Croughton, United Kingdom, Nov. 21, 2019. Quarterly recall exercises are a form of readiness for defenders to always be prepared to respond at a moment’s notice. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Nichole Sehle, 422nd Security Forces Squadron NCOIC of standardization and evaluations, locates required equipment during a recall exercise at RAF Croughton, England, November 21, 2019. Quarterly recall exercises are a form of readiness for defenders to always be prepared to respond at a moment’s notice. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)

Staff Sgt. Nichole Sehle, 422nd Security Forces Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of standardization and evaluations, locates required equipment during a recall exercise at RAF Croughton, United Kingdom, Nov. 21, 2019. Quarterly recall exercises are a form of readiness for defenders to always be prepared to respond at a moment’s notice. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)

RAF CROUGHTON, United Kingdom (AFNS) --

RAF Croughton is at the forefront of innovation, helping create the most effective defenders in the Air Force.

The 422nd Security Forces Squadron has been selected to undergo a six-month trial in a complete revitalization of the squadron.

“Security forces senior leaders recognized the need to overhaul security forces squadrons,” said Senior Master Sgt. Nicholas Whitney, 422nd SFS Defense Force Sustainment Flight superintendent. “We needed to capitalize on utilization of our resources and support operational function. Basically, aligning the forces for optimal performance.”

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein commissioned this idea under the Year of the Defender initiative to focus on training readiness, modernizing the force enterprise-wide and improving quality of life with eight-hour shifts. Squadron of the Future began at RAF Croughton Sept. 1, concentrating on providing defenders with more training opportunities, protected time off, and reorganizing the unit structure into a leaner, more efficient system.

“The biggest takeaway for me is the decentralized command relationship for the master sergeants, … the (noncommissioned officer) tier and down,” said Capt. Alexander Parsons, 422nd SFS operations officer. “It is really empowering those in junior-leadership levels to make decisions at the tactical level. Whereas in a traditional chain-of-command hierarchy, the decisions are elevated and made at a higher level. That is not the focus here. I want my Airmen and my NCOs to be empowered to make those decisions even at the lowest level possible. That frees up the senior leadership within the squadron to focus more on the strategic, operational and longer-term objectives.”

For 18 years, Air Force security forces squadrons followed the U.S. Army doctrine of separating the squadron into sections, S1 through S5: Commander Support Staff (S1), Intelligence Flight (S2), Operations and Training Flight (S3), Logistics and Resources Flight (S4), and Installation Security, Plans and Programs (S5). The new test program has removed these classifications and restructured the squadron to be more effective with streamlined communication transitioning to a three-system operations flight, a sustainment flight and command support staff.

With the implementation of Squadron of the Future, the biggest quality-of-life improvement is that off-duty time is secured.

“We started this back in September and we have not once brought anyone in from protected time off,” Whitney said. “When the flight is on their protected time off, no one in the unit is allowed to bring someone in unless the commander approves it. It is equivalent to crew rest.”

Defenders at RAF Croughton also increased their monthly training days from four to six. Likewise, trainers work alongside defenders to assist in training needs.

“Previously when we had to go to training, people generally drag their feet,” said Tech. Sgt. Corey Southard, 422nd SFS noncommissioned officer in charge of training. “Now you have a trainer embedded amongst your flight. People are more receptive to it. They have someone with them who’s their trainer. It’s twofold – the quicker they train you, the quicker you get out or go off to bigger and better things.”

The Squadron of the Future concept is being tested at 14 different security forces squadrons across the Air Force, at least one in each major command. Monthly conference calls with senior leaders bring Airmen together to talk about the progress and give feedback.

“Our senior leaders at the headquarters level are really taking care of the defenders out on the ground,” Whitney said. “In 18 years, this is a whole new change, but it’s a change for the right reasons. It is making us a more lethal career field by giving us more time to do training. That’s a lot of time not only to take care of our annual training plan requirements, but it also allows us to focus on the things that may be specific to RAF Croughton. It's making us more lethal defenders, because you never know when the next threat’s going to come.”

RAF Croughton is the only test base in U.S. Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa.

Engage

Twitter
US & Canadian members worked together to repair a fuel pump on a Canadian C-17A Globemaster III at Ali Al Salem Air… https://t.co/e52k3ogDdx
Twitter
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: The Airmen of today's @usairforce are the most incredible, patriotic, & disciplined professionals I've ever had the pl…
Twitter
Pentagon staff clap-out @GenDaveGoldfein as he exited the Pentagon on his final day as Air Force Chief of Staff.… https://t.co/AgqLS8pUgD
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: After 37 years of steadfast service to the @USAirForce and #Airmen, no one has earned a standing ovation more than @GenD
Twitter
Guardsmen from the @HiAirGuard and @PANationalGuard located three missing mariners on Pikelot Island during a searc… https://t.co/RFRmCo5koQ
Twitter
Join us for the Air Force Chief of Staff transition ceremony LIVE from @Andrews_JBA tomorrow at 9:30AM EDT!… https://t.co/6M0EIYvyzL
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: Hear Lt. Gen. Michael A. Loh share his first message to the field as the 13th Director of the Air National Guard. https:/…
Twitter
#DYK The 379th Bomb Group flew more sorties than any other bomb group in the Eighth Air Force & dropped a greater b… https://t.co/dbNo8vxohZ
Twitter
An F-15C Eagle assigned to the 67th Fighter Squadron takes off during Exercise WestPac Rumrunner @KadenaAirBase. Te… https://t.co/h79oP3cNwH
Twitter
RT @HQUSAFEAFAF: Airmen from the 423rd Security Forces Squadron, @501CSW, were introduced to the M18 SIG Sauer Modular Handgun System & wer…
Twitter
RT @usairforce: “This might be the next greatest generation. Every one of them joined the service while the nation was at war, and their in…
Twitter
From the ground or air, @AFGlobalStrike and its highly dedicated and trained #Airmen remain at the ready to ensure… https://t.co/QhI4R7R7l7
Twitter
Today we're wishing the @USCG a Happy Birthday! #SemperParatus #AlwaysReady https://t.co/LEmZDsdsgZ
Twitter
We call it Hercules for a reason. The C-130 can accommodate a wide variety of oversized cargo, including everythi… https://t.co/WucTjXL4tg
Twitter
Maj. Brad Short, who is assigned to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, won 2nd place @AFWERX after pitching W… https://t.co/nv9U6tXad1
Twitter
Two U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs release countermeasure flares over @USAFCENT. The A-10 is a highly accurate… https://t.co/ispk4oQJqF
Twitter
A "zero-day" is a computer-software vulnerability that is unaddressed by the system's operator. The Cyber Resilienc… https://t.co/GjaOQ24QQq
Twitter
“This might be the next greatest generation. Every one of them joined the service while the nation was at war, and… https://t.co/6mnIBq70Vg
Twitter
379th Expeditonary Medical Group personnel conduct training @GrandSlamWing. It helps keep them proficient in rende… https://t.co/Jy6ZPe78jF
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,263,061
Follow Us