Desert Defender recognized as Total Force training integrator 

  • Published
  • By Joe Bela
  • AFIMSC Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – Following its successful integration of active-duty, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve personnel, the Air Force Security Forces Center’s Det. 3 Ground Combat Regional Training Center at Fort Bliss, Texas, was recently designated a Total Force Classic Association. 

The training center, known as Desert Defender, with personnel from all three components, directly trains and equips security forces across the Total Force, preparing them for theater-specific threats they may face as specialized air expeditionary forces. 

Touted regularly for its successful union, Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. David Allvin formalized the unit’s recognition as a Total Force organization by signing a memorandum approving the designation. 

To commemorate the event, senior leaders from the three components visited the training center Oct. 18 to learn more about its mission and thank members for their contributions. 

Maj. Gen. Wendy Johnson, Air National Guard assistant to the commander of Air Force Materiel Command, addressed the significance of training center’s impact on security forces across the global enterprise. 

“Having the TFA finalized is the cherry on top,” the general said. “As a former (mission support group) commander sending security forces out the door, the quality of training and mission that you do here is hugely important. I am very grateful that we have that training capability vastly available to Defenders we are putting out in harm’s way.” 

“Desert Defenders have operated as a Total Force unit for several years. This recognition formalized it,” said GCRTC Commander Lt. Col. Christopher Thompson. “These leaders wanted to recognize and better understand what Desert Defender brings to the warfighter on behalf of the security forces enterprise, and I know we’ve done that.”