Security is Everywhere
24 February 2015
Just over one year after the formation of the Air Force Security Forces (SECFOR) Squadrons, they were called upon to deploy the newly reshaped security capability on Operation OKRA.
Deploying 60 SECFOR personnel on Operation OKRA presented a unique opportunity to put the new Air Force Security Force construct to the test.
Flying Officer Sean Gordon, the Officer in Charge of the Security Detachment (SECDET), said their core function is to provide security effects that include physical security of vital assets such as facilities and aircraft, undertake surge and contingency security, as well as short notice-to-move security functions for higher threat tasks.
“The team is drawn from several bases and consists of all security specialisations,” Flying Officer Gordon said.
“They include Security Police Officers and Air Force Police, Ground Defence Officers, Air Defence Guards, Air Force Security, Military Working Dog Handlers and also some Reservists from the categories.
“In a very short period of time have matured into a cohesive and highly effective security force.”
The SECDET provide mounted and dismounted patrols and entry point security, 24 hours a day, allowing the Air Task Group to focus on air operations in Iraq.
However, when the Australian Air Task Group (ATG) and Combat Support Element arrived, security had to be maintained while the living and working accommodation was being built from the ground up.
“Since arriving in theatre, the SECDET have been involved in more than just security,” FLGOFF Gordon said.
“SECDET assisted with the construction of the Task Unit Headquarters, the living accommodation, and laid the razor CAT wire that encircles the TUHQ and planning facility”.
Comprehensive security across the airbase requires a collaborative approach and a common understanding between Coalition forces. To ensure that the ATG is considered in the airbase security picture, SECDET is actively involved through Coalition force liaison and in partnered planning activities.
“Although we don’t have Military Working Dogs here, we have a number of Dog Handlers that have taken the opportunity to work and share techniques with the United States Air Force K9 Handlers,” FLGOFF Gordon said.
“Sharing common skill sets with our American counterparts helps build our relationship and increases our tactical security interoperability.”