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Integrated Defense keeps Tyndall secure

vehicle search specialist verifies the credentials of a commercial driver

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Alfonso Zavala, 325th Security Forces Squadron vehicle search specialist, verifies the credentials of a commercial driver at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Aug. 10, 2021. Commercial gate crews work closely with the visitor control center to ensure individuals requesting access to the base have been adjudicated appropriately through background checks. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Magen M. Reeves)

Patrolman verifies a common access card

Michael Whitaker, 325th Security Forces Squadron installation patrolman, verifies a common access card at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Aug. 10, 2021. Posted patrolmen function under the operations section of the squadron and cover several different areas of security including gate defense and flight line security. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Magen M. Reeves)

Vehicle search specialists, pose for a photo

From left to right, U.S. Air Force Senior Airmen Francisco Pinney and Qwuantez Harris, Airman 1st Class Alfonso Zavala and Staff Sgt. James Vaughan, 325th Security Forces Squadron vehicle search specialists, pose for a photo at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Aug. 10, 2021. Teams of Airmen are posted at several different locations across the installation to ensure access gates are manned to maintain security and serve as antiterrorism and force protection deterrents. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Magen M. Reeves)

Commercial truck attempting to gain installation access

Members of the 325th Security Forces Squadron prepare to perform a vehicle search on a commercial truck attempting to gain installation access at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Aug. 10, 2021. The 325th SFS is responsible for operating installation gates and carries much of the installation’s antiterrorism and force protection measures. (U.S. Air Fore photo by Staff Sgt. Magen M. Reeves)

Vehicle search specialists verify a request for base access

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Qwuantez Harris, left, and Airman 1st Class Alfonso Zavala, 325th Security Forces Squadron vehicle search specialists, verify a request for base access at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Aug. 10, 2021. Defenders posted at the commercial gate are responsible for ensuring those requesting access have a valid pass that meets requirements while using radios to communicate with each other from different points of security. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Magen M. Reeves)

Members of the 325th Security Forces Squadron verify base access credentials

Members of the 325th Security Forces Squadron verify base access credentials at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Aug. 10, 2021. Defense teams posted at the installation gates keep the flow of traffic moving as quickly as possible while still maintaining appropriate security levels. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Magen M. Reeves)

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Florida -- August may be recognized as Antiterrorism Awareness Month, but the military is aware all the time.

The installation commander has the ultimate authority and responsibility when it comes to antiterrorism and force protection. The 325th Security Forces Squadron, tasked in leading initiatives and directives to meet the commander’s intent, develops the Installation Integrated Defense Plan and the Wing Antiterrorism Plan.

“We execute Integrated Defense from a proactive and intelligence based approach,” said Maj. Jordan Criss, 325th SFS commander. “We focus our patrolling operations, training, exercises, and evaluations on the events with the most risk to the wing’s mission and the highest probability of occurring.”

Tyndall has an extensive geographical location of more than 29,000 acres, 18 miles of highway, which is shared with local law enforcement, and 129 miles of coast line the 325th SFS is responsible for patrolling. These areas are covered 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with no breaks or gaps in security.

“Defenders have to be able to operate on a spectrum where, on the low end, we have low intensity functions that include the issuing of speeding tickets or checking IDs at the gates,” said Criss. “The high end of the spectrum involves eliminating threats or mitigating the effects of complex situations involving extremists, criminal offenders, terrorists, active shooters, domestic violence perpetrators, and potential child abusers.”

The IIDP and WATP are developed with local, national and international factors threats considered in order to provide all members with direction on information and force protection. The protocols outlined in the plans allow the base to maintain a proactive stance against terrorism.

“We must rely on our training and discipline to be successful during dynamic contingencies where there is no pause button and no exact procedures to follow,” said Criss. “There is not a lot of room for error. We have to be proactive in how we perform our security responsibilities and if we wait to react we have already lost.”

In an Integrated Defense approach, the playing field and the players are never the same but the outcome has to always achieve a certain set of criteria. The “Desired Effects of Integrated Defense” are anticipate, deter, detect, assess, warn, defeat, delay, defend and recover.

“Our defenders are expected to achieve some, if not all, of these effects sometimes cyclically, every day,” said Criss. “Our duties and responsibilities for both in-garrison and deployed operations are the same, the environment is the only difference.”

The 325th SFS mission is to execute Integrated Defense operations in order to provide a defense-in-depth capability. However, the success of the installation isn’t solely on those serving as Defenders.

“Integrated Defense, antiterrorism and force protection is a team sport and that mission encapsulates security forces, civil engineering and cyber security, just to name a few,” said Criss. “However, it is ultimately the responsibility of the entire base in order to reduce risks to mission.”

Threats can be in the form of an attack against operational security, the release of a food-borne illness, the use of toxic materials and cyber communication threats.

“We rely on a multitude of experts from their respective fields to enhance overall execution,” said Criss. “By providing us the criticality of their mission and their assets, we can best tailor our security efforts in order to effectively protect our most vulnerable assets that have the highest risks to mission.”

Mission success and installation protection is important to all who work at Tyndall and call the base home. Led by Defenders, Tyndall actively practices antiterrorism measures each day, contributing to the security global air dominance provides to the nation.