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