Year of the Defender: Better training, better results

  • Published
  • By Robb Lingley
  • 21st Space Wing Public Affairs
Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Gen. David Goldfein, has proclaimed 2019 as the Year of the Defender. 

Air Force leadership is putting additional resources into security forces this year, including upgraded kit and weapons, and better training under stressful conditions.

“We must always take integrated and layered base defense to a new level by increasing investment in our defenders with new equipment, new training, new tactics, techniques and procedures, and renewed focus at every echelon of command,” Goldfein said. “This is the Year of the Defender because we don’t project power without the network of bases and infrastructure needed to execute multi-domain operations.”

To start this process, 21st Security Forces Squadron leadership coordinated with the 21st Aerospace Medicine Squadron to utilize their BOD POD to determine body fat composition.

21st SFS instituted the Reconstitute Defender Initiative that was created to direct the planning and organization of efforts to address strategic-level tasks associated with correcting long standing deficiencies within security forces.

The RDI’s objectives are to restore readiness, revitalize squadrons and the security forces enterprise, and to increase lethality and close requirement gaps.

The RDI looks for improvement outcome in the following eight areas:
Human capital
Trained and lethal defenders
Technical integration

On Jan. 23, 2019, a group of defenders gathered at the Health and Wellness Center for body fat assessments.

According to the BOD POD website, the machine has an air displacement plethysmograph that uses whole body densitometry to determine fat versus lean body composition. This process involves the measurement of the interior volume of the BOD POD before a patient is inside it and again after the patient is seated inside the chamber. The difference in volume is then subtracted to obtain the patient's body volume. 

“We have completed around 70 BOD PODS for the defenders so far,” said Bill Goins, 21st AMDS Health promotion flight commander. “We will also be providing educational briefings on fitness, nutrition, sleep, supplement safety several times per month over the next few months.”

As part of the Year of the Defender, 21st SFS will review ways to incorporate improvements into the eight areas listed above.

The Year of the Defender, in conjunction with the RDI, brings focus back to the defender. As part of those initiatives, the 21st SFS will continue incorporating improvements in the eight outlined areas, making 21st SFS defenders capable and prepared to maintain mission readiness.