Forces Affix New Beret Flashes (Released: August 14, 1997)
Washington(AFNS)-- Three decades after security police first donned berets, Air Force Chief
of Staff Gen. Ronald R. Fogleman approved July 10 a uniform cloth flash
for Air Force security forces headgear. The emblem of a falcon swooping
down on its prey replaces individual major command metal crests now
worn by security police on the current dark blue berets adopted in the
mid-1970s. New flashes should be issued by November.
Light-blue security security police berets
were authorized in 1966 for Operation Safe Side combat security police
assigned to the 1041st Security Police Squadron (Test) in Vietnam. Affixed
was the unit's emblem, a falcon. This unit evolved into the 82nd Combat
Security Police Wing in 1968, assigned to Fairchild Air Force Base,
Washington and later Fort Campbell, Ky. The wing was assigned a worldwide
deployment mission to provide base defense for Air Force contingencies.
Wing members also wore the light-blue
beret with a cloth flash. The wing emblem consisted of a falcon above
runways superimposed on a globe that represented the wing mission. The
unit was deactivated in December 1968.
In March 1997, the 82nd CSPW was reactivated
and redesignated the 820th Security Forces Group. It provides world
wide first-in protection for Air Force contingencies. The 820th SFG also
adopted the heraldry of the 82nd CSPW.
That same month, the Air Force Security
Police Agency was redesignated as the Air Force Security Forces Center,
Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. The heraldry of the 820th SFG was used as
a model for the AFSFC emblem, which explains the falcon's revival for
the security forces.
The security forces career field emblem
and beret flash are the same design. The motto is "Defensor Fortis"
or Defender of the Force. The emblem consists of the AFSFC emblem design
with the security forces motto on a scroll.
Enlisted members will wear the flash
with design and motto. Officers will wear the plain flash with the motto.
Officers will also wear regular size rank insignia centered on the flash.
In 1947, the United States Air Force was formed, separating from the Army. Inner service rivalry has transpired ever since, as to who should fly the planes and helicopters, and who should drive the tanks. Reality set in for both services in Vietnam. The Army needed its own helicopters, armed, and both the Army and Marines agreed the Air Force needed to protect its own Bases. To satisfy the combat need in training that Air Police and Security Police had already been tasked with in Vietnam, Operation Safe Side was born.