MOODY AIR FORCE BASE Ga.: Airmen in the 23rd Security Forces Squadron recently hosted a team of specialists here who introduced base personnel to a new tool aimed at improving security at military installations around the world.
The ForcePRO software, created by a civilian company, is designed to help security planners develop integrated defense plans. Integrated defense is a tailored, flexible and commander-driven process based on risk management principles. The software assists the wing commander with effective and efficient management of local security risks.
“The material we’re teaching is brand new, but we hope students will appreciate the power of systematic analysis for security and understand that everyone has an important role in security,” said Dr. Ken Knox, a ForcePRO software developer. “From this, we hope they will be able to contribute in a positive fashion to developing (a base’s) integrated defense plan.”
Although Air Combat Command’s software training began in March 2009, it was not mandated for bases to develop an integrated defense plan until Air Force Instruction 31-101, “Integrated Defense,” was published in October 2009.
“When ACC recognized the shortfalls in using the software, we were asked to conduct training for all of their bases,” Dr. Knox said. “The teams we train on a daily basis consist not only of security forces members; it also includes antiterrorism officers, intelligence officers, Air Force Office of Special Investigations members and many others you wouldn’t normally expect. Even Public Affairs has an important role in installation security.”
The trainee list also includes engineers, emergency managers, firefighters, explosive ordnance disposal specialists and communications personnel.
In order to help the diverse students progress daily, three instructors provide their help and conduct exercises to make the training material easier to understand.
“The real key to proficiency in the risk assessment process is being involved with your data and looking at your results with a critical eye,” said Yvette McHenry, a software instructor. “When results are unexpected, dig into the data and ask why.”
Even with the hands-on assistance, the instructors are aware that students learn at different paces.
“The biggest obstacle when teaching a new class is keeping a balance and making sure the security expert and the novice are receiving quality instruction and hands-on experience,” said Ken Lien, a software instructor. “You don’t want one group finished with an exercise while another is struggling. I did my best to provide assistance where it was needed. Even though the class population was diverse, they all did an amazing job.”
With the challenges of new material and a challenging atmosphere, cooperation through team exercises enabled the ForcePRO software students to complete the course.
“I had no exposure to integrated defense risk management process or ForcePRO before I attended the course,” said Master Sgt. Roderick Vega, the 23rd Civil Engineer Squadron emergency services flight operations superintendent. “This class helped me by finding better ways to protect and defend the base’s resources.
“Integrated defense definitely requires participation from various base organizations to promote and implement effective countermeasures,” he added. “This course allowed me to recognize how the effects-based process changes from base to base. It also helped me to understand there are key components that change slightly and allows the base to defend against local threats.”
Another student saw how important the class was in helping him understand the software.
“When we first started using the new software tool, I was self taught and learned through trial and error,” said Capt. David Cohen, 23rd Security Forces Squadron officer and class coordinator. “By attending this class and learning the process and inner workings of the program, it enabled the students to understand the methodology behind the program and process. Now we are better able to serve and protect the wing.”