820th Security Forces Group Renamed

security forces


MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. — Col. John Horner, 93rd Air Ground Operations Wing commander, rolls up the 820th Security Forces Group flag with retired Brig. Gen. Richard Coleman during the 820th Base Defense Group redesignation ceremony here Oct. 7. A new guidon was presented to Colonel Horner with the new 820th BDG flag attached. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Benjamin Wiseman)

10/08/2010 – MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. — The 820th Security Forces Group was renamed on Oct. 1 to better represent the mission the group fulfills. 

The group is now the 820th Base Defense Group, reflecting their mission to provide rapidly deployable, integrated defense capabilities in a volatile environment.

The group’s mission has been the same since the Vietnam War when the need for this type of unit was first recognized.

“In Vietnam there was a group of members sent to a forward air base not knowing what to expect or what equipment they would have to defend it with,” said retired Brig. Gen. Richard Coleman, former director of security forces, Headquarters U.S. Air Force. “I realized then that there was a need for a special type of security forces group to head this up.”

That idea led to the creation of the 820th Security Forces Squadron in 1996. It was created in order to provide a “first in” capable force protection group to defend expeditionary Air Force operational resources and personnel worldwide.

This mission has stayed true until today, but it was recognized that the name “Security Forces Group” did not clearly represent the role they play.

The Chief of Staff of the Air Force General Norton Schwartz signed the BDG enabling concept in June 2009, which set the name change to occur Oct. 1. This illustrated the vital importance of a ground-based platform for expeditionary base defense. 

The 820th BDG is the Air Force’s sole unit organized, trained and equipped to conduct integrated base defense in high-threat areas. The mission of the group is to provide high-risk force protection and integrated base defense for expeditionary air forces.

“This unit is special because it’s the only one in the Air Force designed and equipped to complete these missions,” said Col. John Horner, 93rd Air Ground Operations Wing commander. “We are glad to have this group under the AGOW and to support its mission.”

The group is composed of not only security forces, but 11 other Air Force specialty codes, personnel, communications and more.

“Each specialist is trained to not only operate the equipment that deals with their job, but are fully trained in combat if the need arises,” said Col. Randall Richert, 820th BDG commander. “We never want to have to see the other career fields pick up a weapon and have to defend themselves, but if there’s a need, they are prepared.”

The name now represents the full force that the 820th BDG is capable of providing.

By Airman 1st Class Nicholas Benroth,
23rd Wing Public Affairs

security forces

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. — Members of the 820th Security Forces Group stand at parade rest during a redesignation ceremony at Moody Air Force Base, Ga., Oct. 7. As of Sept. 30, the new name for the group is the 820th Base Defense Group. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Benjamin Wiseman)

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. — Members of the 820th Base Defense Group salute the arrival of the official party during the 820th BDG redesignation ceremony at Moody Air Force, Ga., Oct. 7. All four squadrons under the group were in attendance. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Benjamin Wiseman)

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. — Col. John Horner, 93rd Air Ground Operations Wing commander, speaks to his units during the 820th Base Defense Group redesignation ceremony at Moody Air Force Base, Ga., Oct. 7. During his speech, Colonel Horner thanked all the Airmen for their hard work and dedication. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Benjamin Wiseman)

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. — Before the new 820th Base Defense Group guidon could be raised, the Outstanding Unit Award streamer had to be attached during the 820th BDG redesignation ceremony at Moody Air Force Base, Ga., Oct 7. The group received an award for their exceptional meritorious achievements from June 2009 to May 2010. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Benjamin Wiseman)

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. — A new guidon flag bearing the name of the 822nd Base Defense Squadron sits in front of a formation during the 820th Base Defense Group redesignation ceremony at Moody Air Force Base, Ga., Oct. 7. The Airmen from the 820th BDG continue the same mission, but with a new name. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Benjamin Wiseman)

About Defender Magazine 522 Articles
Jose J. Sanchez, Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Defender Magazine and Military Police Magazine, is a U.S. Air Force veteran who served in the Presidential Honor Guard, Bolling AFB, Washington DC, the 416th Security Police Squadron, Griffiss AFB, NY, and the 89th Security Forces Squadron, Andrews AFB, MD