you have called us to be
guardians of a nation founded
on Your principles.
Whatever our tasks
as Security Force men and women,
we do them to serve You
and our nation.
We are proud
to accept the responsibility
of this high calling.
We dedicate ourselves
to our vocation, and ask
for guidance and courage in aiding
our people to live with dignity,
in safety and peace.
We know that security comes
from Your presence,
so we pray with the Psalmist:
You bless those who obey
Your love protects them
like a shield. Use us, O Lord,
as shields for your people,
reflecting Your security
AFSPA's Security Forces Memorial
Statue At The USAF Museum, 2001
of the Security Police Beret
is a symbol of achievement and recognition. Many elite groups
within other branches of military service have adopted the
beret for this same reason. No matter what the color or insignia,
the beret has been the trademark that identifies a particular
group as being special and apart from the average military
soldier, sailor, or airman.
The roots of the Security Police beret arc often traced back
to the 1041st Security Police Squadron (Test) and "Operation
Safeside" during 1965-67. The mission of the Air Police
was changing, and this specially trained Task Force adopted
a light blue beret with a Falcon patch as their symbol. It
can only be speculated as to whether the idea came from the
Army Ranger beret, since the initial cadre of the 1041st
SPS received its initial training at the Army Ranger School.
The 1041st SPS evolved into the 82nd Combat Security Police
Wing, but was deactivated in December 1968, thus bringing
an end to the light blue beret with the falcon emblem.
Although the beret was not an authorized uniform item for
Security Police work, several local commanders authorized
a dark blue beret for their units even though the official
Security Police cover remained the white service cap. In the
early 70's, Military Working Dog handlers assigned to the
6280th SPS, Takhli RTAFB, Thailand, wore a dark blue beret
with no insignia. The other members of the unit wore fatigue
caps and the "jungle bonny" style hat. Again, the
beret was distinguishing a specific group of specialized personnel.
Other Units adopted a version of the beret to distinguish
their elite guards.
When Brigadier General (Major General select) Thomas Sadler
was appointed Air Force Chief of Security Police and the two
symbol AF/SP office was created in 1975, the Security Police
had arrived. The General 's task was to bring the Security
Police into the mainstream of the Air Force and one of the
tools for doing that was recognitionrecognition of deeds
as well as members of a distinctive and highly recognizable
career field. The beret was one of the proposed uniform changes
that had been being considered. Although there was significant
opposition to the beret initially from senior colonels and
MAJCOM Chiefs, the troops loved the idea, and that's what
is was all about. Several months later the uniform board approved
the proposal, and the beret was officially being worn world-wide
The dark blue beret of 1976 was worn with the MAJCOM crest
of the appropriate major command the unit was assigned to.
It continued this way for twenty years until the forming of
the Security Forces in early 1997. In March 1997, the 82nd
CSPW was reactivated and redesigned the 820th Security Forces
Group. It provides worldwide first in force protection for
Air Force contingencies. The 820th SFG also adopted the heraldry
of the 82nd CSPW, thus explaining the falcon's revival as
the emblem for the Security Forces, with the addition of the
motto "Defensor Fortis" on the scroll.
These young men and women have taken the baton and proudly
are running with it. We of the original Safeside units can
stand proud and hold our heads high in pride as to the accomplishments
of these warriors and their deployments around the world.
Conception and Deployment History
- Special Order G-42, July 18, 1966, activated the 1041st
Security Strike Force Squadron (Test) commanded by Lt Col
William Wise and gave birth to Operation Safe Side. This unit
was Ranger trained to provide an aggressive role in air base
defense. Later they were renamed the 1041st Security Police
1967 - 1041st SPS (T) arrived at Phu Cat
AB, Vietnam. The success of the initial training and deployment
to Viet Nam proved that Lt Col Wise could and did train an
Air Force security force that could defend US bases and personnel
in a hostile environment. Lt Col Wise was truly a man of vision.
On the 24th of July 1967, the CSAF approved the formation
of the 82nd Combat Security Police Wing with three squadrons,
the 821st, the 822nd, and the 823rd.
- The 821st and the 822nd were trained at Scoffield Barracks,
Hawaii. The 823rd was trained at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
In August of 1968, the 822nd CSPS relieved the 821st at Pleiku
and Phan Rang in the Republic of Viet Nam. The Tet New Year
was only months away. Rocket and mortar attacks became nightly
common place. We of "B" flight were initially deployed
to Pleiku Air Base. We were later deployed to Phan Rang Air
Base. On January 27, 1969 in the Tet New Year, Pleiku AB was
attacked by a large coordinated ground force of North Viet
Nam regular forces. The attack was coordinated at Juliet sector
which was under "B" flight control that night. The
attack was supported by rocket and mortar fire. The attack
lasted through the night into the dawn hours. The enemy breached
only one section of our perimeter but was stopped by one of
our bunker emplacements with several VC being killed and no
casualties were sustained by Safeside personnel. A VC mortar
position that was operating in a church tower 700 yards out
from the perimeter was destroyed by a Safeside sniper. These
brave Rangers could not have survived the night without possible
casualties had it not been for decisive action and the best
training afforded only through Safeside training. Many US
fighter aircraft were destroyed by rocket and mortar fire
the night. There were some US casualties of aircraft support
personnel. If Safeside had not controlled Juliet sector that
night the outcome would have been far worse. This success
was not luck but can only be attributed to intense Ranger
training and the fellowship and comradery that develops through
unit training. Several Bronze Stars and one Air Force Accommodation
Medal were awarded for bravery that night.
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