|Security Forces Break Ground On New Home |
Security Forces Break Ground On New Home
By Chief Master Sgt. Gary Emery, Air Force Print News, 20 March 2000.
Lackland Air Force Base, Texas -- With the turn of a shovel here, Air Force security forces leaders and local commanders broke ground March 16 on a state-of-the-art center for force protection.
The new 36,000-square-foot facility will serve as headquarters for the Air Force Security Forces Center. It will house the AFSFC vice commander and staff, as well as the Force Protection Battlelab. The $8.1 million center will also include weapons and ammunition vaults, a conference center and video teleconference facilities. It is scheduled for completion in June 2001.
Brig. Gen. Richard Coleman, former director of security forces and former commander, Air Force Security Forces, called the event "a great day for our security forces and its future." The groundbreaking was one of Coleman's last official acts before retiring the same afternoon as the Air Force's longest-serving member, with more than 43 years on active duty.
Coleman credited senior Air Force leaders, including former chief of staff Gen. Ronald R. Fogleman, with supporting the new facility and its mission. "I was challenged (by Fogleman) to find the funding and convince Air Force leadership this was how they should spend their money," Coleman said. Given the importance of the force protection mission, the leaders told Coleman "We will make it happen," he said.
He also gave a nod to leaders at Lackland and Air Education and Training Command for their support. "You don't make something like this happen unless you have a good host command, from the AETC civil engineer all the way to the support group commander, local engineers and the 37th Training Wing commander," Coleman explained.
The Air Force Security Forces Center, formerly the Air Force Security Police Agency, relocated to Lackland from Kirtland AFB, N.M., in November 1997. The center, a Field Operating Agency, is the focal point for force protection within the Air Force and is responsible for the protection of Air Force installations from terrorism, sabotage and acts of war.
The center manages security planning and programming for 30,000 active duty and Reserve component security forces worldwide. The center also hosts Defender Challenge, the annual combat readiness skills competition for Air Force and allied security forces professionals. More than 160 active duty, Reserve, civilian and allied nation force protection specialists are assigned to the center.