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Air Force Security Forces - PHOENIX RAVEN
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Air Mobility Command’s Phoenix Raven program, implemented in 1997, consists of teams of specially trained security forces personnel dedicated to providing security for AMC aircraft that transit high terrorist and criminal threat areas.

Mission

The Phoenix Raven program ensures an acceptable level of close-in security for aircraft transiting airfields where security is unknown or additional security is needed to counter local threats.

Concept of Operations

Teams of two to four specially trained and equipped security forces personnel deploy as aircrew members on AMC missions as designated by the AMC Threat Working Group. The Raven teams help detect, deter and counter threats to AMC aircraft by performing close-in aircraft security; advising aircrews on force protection measures; conducting airfield assessments; and assisting aircrews in the performance of their duties when not performing their primary security duties. Phoenix Raven teams work on all types of AMC airlift

Staff Sgt. Dawne Roby, Airman 1st Class Jeffrey Smith and Staff Sgt. Hector Soler, members of the 305th Security Forces Squadron, McGuire Air Force Base, N.J., prepare equipment for a Raven deployment. The Air Mobility Warfare Center-trained Ravens deploy with airlift missions to protect crew members and aircraft. (Photo by Scott Spitzer)

missions including theater support missions, contingencies, exercises or deployments. Other Air Force major commands, including Air Force Special Operations Command, Air Combat Command, Air Education and Training Command, Pacific Air Forces and U.S. Air Forces in Europe have sent a select number of security force members to AMC’s Phoenix Raven training course. In addition to those missions specifically identified by the AMC/TWG, wing commanders may also direct Phoenix Raven teams accompany home-station airlift and tanker missions. Ultimately however, a Phoenix Raven team on an airlift mission is an assigned aircrew member and reports to the aircraft commander.

Organization

The HQ AMC Director of Security Forces is the focal point for all Phoenix Raven operations supporting AMC airlift operations. On behalf of the AMC/SF Director, a Phoenix Raven Program Manager serves within the staff as the interface between the headquarters’ staff and the units. In addition to the Raven Program Manager, the AMC/SF Contingency Branch coordinates with other major commands and Air Reserve Component Security Forces to ensure Raven-trained personnel are available at overseas en route locations to support AMC missions unexpectedly diverted.

AMC has over 200, active-duty Raven trained security forces members assigned at bases nationwide. A small portion of the trained force is maintained at Little Rock AFB and Dyess AFB and at limited bases within the European and Pacific Theaters. Besides the active-duty corps, the AFRES and ANG community also maintain Raven trained personnel to support their significant contribution to the airlift missions throughout the world.

Training

The Phoenix Ravens sole training course is conducted by the 421st Ground Combat Readiness Squadron, Air Mobility Warfare Center (AMWC), Fort Dix, N.J. The intensive two-week, 14-hour-a-day course covers such subjects as cross-cultural awareness, legal considerations, embassy operations, airfield survey techniques, explosive ordnance awareness, aircraft searches, and unarmed self-defense techniques. Phoenix Raven training is designed to provide security forces members with the skills required for their unique mission and builds on the basic security force skills taught at the SF academy.

The first Ravens graduated AMWC in February 1997. Since then, more than 700 Air Force security forces have graduated from the Phoenix Raven Course. Upon graduation, graduates are issued a lifetime numeric identifier for their accomplishment.

History

In the aftermath of the Khobar Towers bombing in 1996 and as a result of other serious events around the world, the former AMC

Having landed at a remote air base in Afghanistan, four Air Force Security Forces RAVENs prepare to exit from the rear of a C-17A Globemaster III. The team provided security for the aircraft and personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Keith Reed)

Commander Gen Walter Kross implemented the Phoenix Raven Program in February 1997. Since then, Ravens from within the command and Raven-trained security forces from outside the command, have accompanied over 1,900 AMC missions to international hot spots around the globe.

Recognition

As a group, the Phoenix Raven program has been identified for the innovative approach to force protection. In 1999, the program earned honors as DoD’s Most Outstanding Antiterrorism Innovation or Action in the command category. The program also received the Federal Executive Board (St. Louis Chapter) Year 2000 Team Performance Award. Since the Phoenix Raven have been an integral part of the Threat Working Group process, AMC Staff Members have been honored for their contribution to the Air Force and AMC intelligence community for planning and executing Phoenix Raven missions. In addition to program management awards, three members assigned to AMC/SF were awarded the Air Force’s Outstanding Intelligence Contributor Award.

Above Information & Photos Courtesy of U.S. Air Force

 

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