By Staff Sgt. Matthew Coleman-Foster | 50th Space Wing Public Affairs
SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The 50th Security Forces Squadron Plans and Programs Office reviews and validates all Air Force policy updates disseminating them to Defenders within the unit to ensure they remain a fit, professional, approachable force which is lethal when required in the performance of their duties.
Plans and program’s day-to-day consists of reviewing memorandums of understanding or memorandum agreements and looking for any updates to Air Force Instructions pertaining to Security Forces.
“It all comes down to making sure the 50th SFS is as effective as possible,” Tech. Sgt. James Foster Jr., 50th SFS noncommissioned officer in charge of plans and programs resource protection said. “The Defenders on flight conduct their day-to-day duties, but it’s my responsibility to ensure they have the appropriate guidance to do their job the right way,” he said.
Master Sgt. Rocky Thompson, 50th SFS plans and programs superintendent, said his office’s role within the squadron and the wing is paramount to mission success.
“Plans and programs has many functions within the section,” he said. “Installation security handles updates and rewrites to the integrated defense plans and base security plans, is responsible for the geographically separated units unique security needs and coordinates updates and deviations with them”.
Foster said policies and operating instructions change approximately every two-to-four years and it is up to him to ensure unit members receive the information.
“A few years ago drones weren’t really a thing,” he said. “Now anyone can get a drone, so documents have been updated to reflect this to ensure we know what our guidance is in regards to dealing with drones,” he said.”
In order to be certified to work as plans and programs, specific training is required such as a publications and forms course and support agreement training ensuring there’s a clear understanding of what is expected.
Besides personnel at 50th SCS and 50th SW, Foster said he works with anyone and everyone.
“We have a MOU with El Paso County and Ellicott School districts where in the event school’s children and staff may need to relocate to the base,” he said. “We also have MOUs with agencies off base regarding transportation, fire departments and police departments.”
Foster said his mission contributes to helping Defenders remain lethal and professional in their craft.
“My role in the squadron is to provide the most up-to-date guidance,” he said. “This assures Defenders not only are speaking on items in the regulation but they know what they are doing as well.
With Air Force leadership naming 2019 as the Year of the Defender, Foster says it is a humbling show of appreciation.
“Seeing appreciation for what we do, regardless of however people may perceive us, is nice,” he said. “A lot of what we do doesn’t usually end in thank you.”
This article is the sixth part of a series highlighting the 50th Security Forces Squadron flights. See future issues of the Schriever Sentinel for more coverage of Year of the Defender.