Staff arming protects AFDW Airmen

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Matt Davis
  • Air Force District of Washington Public Affairs
An active shooter scenario can be a very real threat for today's military. Whether you are at the BX with family or at your work center, there is unfortunately always a chance of becoming part of these types of incidents. The Air Force has established a new program that allows Security Forces members on staff to combat that threat.

Staff arming allows Air Force District of Washington personnel with a Security Forces background to be armed while working in a staff position in various facilities.

"There have been numerous scenarios on active duty bases to include the Navy Yard shooting and most recently the Chattanooga shooting," said Mr. Mark Allen, AFDW Security Forces director. "Each gave additional emphasis on physical security, arming and emergency warning notification."

The goal of this program is to cut down the time it takes first responders to arrive on scene and ultimately be able to neutralize the threat faster. Having highly-trained personnel on site can potentially prevent making a bad day worse.

"Our guys are going to be participating with all active shooter exercises and will be in constant communication with the 11th Security Forces Group," said Allen. "Security Forces have run a ton of exercises, and while they have a great response time, if we can shave a couple of minutes off that, it only makes sense."

Security Forces members at AFDW think this will have a positive impact on preventing active shooter threats.

Master Sgt. Chris Romano, AFDW Security Forces Plans and Programs Branch superintendent, thinks the ability to coordinate response tactics with on-duty Security Forces to neutralize a threat, secure the scene and provide first aid for injured personnel is critical to incident resolution.

"Staff arming is a force multiplier initiative that embeds security threat mitigation throughout the Air Force by providing a rapid and thoroughly trained counter-threat response," said Romano. "If one life is spared due to a quick and decisive internal response, the means will be justified."

Security Forces are ready to mitigate any threat presented to Airmen, and staff arming is just another step to enhancing that goal.

For more information on this and other new programs to prevent active shooter threats, visit: