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Army Guard training to support wing security forces

by Nick Stubbs
Thunderbolt Staff Writer

There are going to be some new faces on the watch at MacDill soon, as more than 300 Army National Guardsmen train for the role of bolstering security forces on base.

The new personnel arrived at MacDill Tuesday and immediately began training conducted by the 6th Security Forces Squadron. They will learn Air Force procedures and regulations, entry control and techniques and procedures for conducting thorough searches, among other things, said Chief Master Sgt. Benjamin Harper, 6th SFS.

Harper said the guardsmen are part of a plan to relieve Air Force guard and reservists who have been on duty at MacDill, supporting the security effort.

Harper said the guardsmen will be deployed at MacDill for a year and, once trained and working, will result in the security forces being "stronger manpower wise" and allow for the "enhancement of some positions."

The training will be held over a two-week period, after which the new forces will begin security duty on and around the base, integrating with the Air Force, Harper said, adding that despite the new forces being from a different military branch, there will be complete integration.

"They will become full-fledged members of the team and we're excited to have them," said Harper. With the current training schedule, the new forces could begin duty as early as the end of February.




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