TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --
The director of Security Forces Brig. Gen. Andrea Tullos engaged with the 72nd Security Forces Squadron during her two-day tour at Tinker Air Force Base, July 10-11.
Primarily, General Tullos briefed the defenders on the latest news from the Pentagon as well as praised them for their unparalleled professionalism and skill sets. She covered hot topics from training and equipment to manpower and statistics.
Healthier than where security forces has been since pre-9/11, the number of Active Duty cops sits at 25,000. With approximately 96 percent of Airmen coming through the schoolhouse, the goal is to be fully funded, including all authorizations, by the end of 2018. Expansion of the Air Force, via Congress, will allow more Airmen through the pipeline, reaching an ultimate goal of 100 percent.
The general centered most of her presentation around the foundation of security forces training. Getting back to the basics, she emphasized the expectation of the schoolhouse producing Airmen that are fully capable and proficient in shooting, moving and communicating. Arriving at a base with foundational skill sets will strengthen the effectiveness of more advanced training and resources when the squadrons are not relied upon for teaching the basics.
Aside from fundamentally equipping the defenders from the get-go, the general pushed the need to improve day-to-day training on installations. Offering that many tasks are better suited with hands-on approaches, General Tullos encouraged supervisors to better immerse themselves in training.
“Don’t conduct all of your training in a classroom setting,” she said. “Rather, get out with your flights and get on the line. Don’t press the ‘easy’ button and flip through PowerPoint slides – it is less effective.”
Throughout the 72nd Security Forces Squadron all-call, where the general addressed the base theater full of defenders, she stressed the importance for positive and intrusive leadership, both through professional and personal relationships.
“Take the time to get to know your Airmen. Invest in them as your leadership has invested in you. Sit down with them and give them that candid feedback to help them improve.”
Additionally General Tullos touched on the importance of Regional Training Centers and going back to the three to six month training before she addressed her concerns, as a whole, to the 72nd Security Forces Squadron. Most prominent on that list was the detection capabilities.
“We need to get you better technology and even better mobility,” she said. “We have the technology but we need to get it all to you.”
The top cop also spoke to her room full of defenders about the essentiality of strength in versatility. Referencing the force to have a large number of non-commissioned officers with a narrow scope of station experience, General Tullos expressed the need in doing a better job of broadening that adaptability and usefulness. In creating more holes and opportunities for change, the general hoped her defenders would consider stirring the pot a little.
“If you’ve been on base for six-plus years, consider a change,” she offered. “Consider going to nuclear enterprise if you’ve never been, consider your overseas assignment, consider how expanding that versatility in your career can be beneficial.”
In closing, the top cop echoed sentiments of positive impressions from leadership after answering some questions from the defenders. She assured the squadron of the trust the Air Force instills and maintains with its defenders.
Expressing the pride in the 72nd Security Forces Squadron, General Tullos relayed praises from Air Force Sustainment Center Commander Lt. Gen. Lee K. Levy II and Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex Commander Brig. Gen. Tom Miller.
“In trying to capture what they’re impressed with, it’s a multitude of things,” Tullos said. “It’s the professionalism and engagement with them, as well as dismount patrol. They’re impressed with the patrols, seeing the high level of training with K9s and the gate guards who stand tall and welcome thousands onto this installation every day.” She continued her theme of honing in on the little things, on the basics, saying how it largely demonstrates the full capabilities of the security forces and allows ease and confidence in handling any task – big or small.
Tullos is the focal point for ensuring the physical security of Air Force nuclear assets as well as planning and programming for more than 38,000 Active Duty and Reserve component security forces at locations across the globe. The director of Security Forces provides policy and oversight for protecting Air Force resources from terrorism, criminal acts, sabotage and acts of war. As the top cop, General Tullos ensures that defenders are trained, equipped and prepared to support contingency and exercise plans.