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MacDill’s augmentees: essential for defense

By Airman 1st Class Scott Warner 6th Air Mobility Wing

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From the frontline gates to the streets within, security forces Airmen protect and defend a military installation.

 For MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, the 6th Security Forces Squadron is that defensive force protecting more than 42,000 military personnel, family members, and civilian employees.

 However, in an emergency or contingency situation that requires a surge in manpower, MacDill turns to augmentees for additional support.

“The 6th Air Mobility Wing augmentee duty (AD) program is designed to identify, place, and train a pool of individuals to temporarily augment 6th AMW squadrons and agencies that will be short of required manpower during exercises, contingencies, wartime, or emergency situations,” said Lt. Col. Brandon Leifer, the 6th Air Mobility Wing AD program manager.

 In July, 15 augmentees from several wing agencies participated in the AD training program.

“Our augmentees learn a variety of necessary skillsets to perform basic security forces duties,” said Leifer. “They receive training in entry control point procedures, handcuffing procedures, crowd control, and must qualify with the M9 pistol and the M4 carbine.”

While not as in-depth as the 13-week technical school security forces Airmen receive, this training prepares augmentees to support MacDill’s specific base needs.

“Our augmentees provide a crucial service to our base,” said Staff Sgt. Jose Chamorro, a security forces trainer assigned to the 6th SFS. “They are eager to learn and work hard because they enjoy the change of pace from their regular day-to-day job.”

After training is complete, qualifications last for a year and in order to become an augmentee again, training and certification must be retaken annually. Receiving the most up-to-date training in security procedures and protocols is essential and therefore, MacDill takes the safety and training of its Airmen very seriously.

“I think it’s very important that augmentees get to experience the weapons that our security forces uses, which could save someone’s life,” said Senior Airman Adaina Mendoza, a bioenvironmental engineering technician assigned to the 6th Aerospace Medicine Squadron.

 Mendoza is not a first-time AD volunteer and encourages other Airmen to give it a shot.

“I work in a medical office every day,” said Mendoza. “It is a great opportunity to get outside of the clinic and learn a skillset that defenders use while giving myself a perspective and understanding of an important career field in our society.”

Ultimately, training enhances readiness and whether it’s day or night, a weekday or a holiday, one thing is for certain; MacDill’s security forces and augmentee duty members train to defend this base and its people from any possible threat.