by Senior Airman William Johnson
436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
2/3/2016 - DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. -- As
Team Dover continues to deliver airlift cargo to warfighters downrange
and humanitarian relief supplies across the world, it has taken
additional security measures to ensure the safety of its own Airmen and
their families here at home.
With the recent implementation of Eagle Shield, a combined initiative of
selective arming programs, the Unit Marshal Program, or UMP, has
officially begun at Dover AFB, Delaware. The UMP is a unit commander's
program where they select Airmen to carry an M9 pistol during the duty
day within their work centers.
"The main purpose of this program is to enable a capable body and put a
weapon in the building so that we have an armed individual on the inside
in the event something does happen," said Staff Sgt. John Broughal,
436th Security Forces Squadron unit training manager. "The focus of
these marshals is to lockdown, secure and save as many lives as
The 436th SFS trained and educated unit commanders about the UMP and
what benefits it could provide to their units. Once commanders agreed to
participate in the program, they appointed a Marshal Program Monitor.
The program monitor is in charge of notifying the base defense
operations center of when and where unit marshals will be working within
their unit, ensuring they are always accounted for. The program monitor
is also in charge of notifying security forces if there are any changes
in the Airman's ability to fulfil the obligations of a unit marshal.
Then commanders selected mature and capable Airmen for the program.
Finally, these selectees were vetted by the 436th SFS to look for any
Airmen from the 436th Logistics Readiness Squadron and the 436th Medical
Group were selected to participate in the first UMP training course.
Training included use of force, weapon fundamentals, defensive shooting,
active shooter response and actions on combat.
Once the unit marshals were qualified on the M9, they moved on to
advance skills training on how to shoot with an elevated heart rate and a
variety of different shooting positions. The unit marshals also
conducted live fire training drills with simunition rounds in 'shoot' or
'don't shoot' scenarios and in a variety of active shooter and
disgruntled worker exercises.
"The training was outstanding and the instructors did a great job," said
Tech. Sgt. Matt Copley, 436th LRS fuels service center NCO in charge
and unit marshal. "The classroom portion was great, you can hear it, you
can see it and you can shoot your weapon. However, what we realized
during the simunitions training is how real it was and the fact that you
are actually being fired at. Sometimes the way you thought you were
going to react wasn't the way you did once sim-rounds started moving
The training was originally slated for 40 hours, but because a unit
marshal's responsibilities are so vital, the training was extended to
more than 60 hours.
"It's not because any one of them did something wrong, it's just that we
gave them so much information, and we thought it would benefit them
exponentially if we gave them three more working days of training," said
Staff Sgt. Joshua Botto, 436th SFS trainer. "This ensures that we are
arming qualified and knowledgeable people with a firearm."
Lt. Col. Dana Metzger, 436th SFS commander, and other senior security
forces personnel observed each unit marshal's final training scenario
before they could be certified as meeting the requirements for training.
Metzger stressed that even though unit marshals are trained with the
use of force and qualified on a M9, they are not trained as law
enforcement officers and do not act as first responders, rather they
play a defensive role in their work centers.
"We do not want the marshals to run towards danger, however we want them
to protect themselves and protect their personnel." said Metzger. "They
are not trained to be police officers that are going to go towards and
eliminate the threat. However, if the threat presents itself and they
can take that individual or threat out, then they are authorized to do
Much like security forces defenders, unit marshals will be required to
attended quarterly training and stay qualified on the M9. Furthermore,
Broughal and other security forces trainers will check in on unit
marshals in their work centers at least once a month.
"At any given time, as trainers, we are going to go over to the marshals
and do spot checks on them and see how they are functioning within
their work centers," said Broughal. "We also want to see if their
co-workers know what to do in a lock down or emergency situation."
Unit marshals will be easily identifiable within their units. They are
required to wear a bright reflective sash that says, 'Security' while
they are armed with their M9 sidearm. However, in the near future they
will transition from the sash to arm brassards.
"Whenever they are armed up we want them to be highly visible to their
people," said Metzger. "That way if there is an incident, those people
know to run to the unit marshal and get behind him or her or get out of
the building and listen to what they have instructed them to do."
The 436th SFS also wants the marshals to be highly visible because they
are aware as the program rolls out, it might be a shock to some people
to see Airmen who are not cops armed with a firearm on base.
"This is a whole different milestone and a new way of thinking, it's
going to be a real eye opener," said Broughal. "It will definitely take
time for other work centers to get use to and people might not be
comfortable with it at first, but once they see the overall big picture
and it gets pushed Air Force wide, I think they will become more
accepting of the program and even like it."
Even though these Airmen are the first individuals to complete the
training course and be certified as unit marshals at Dover AFB, other
Air Force bases are already taking notice and asking for assistance with
their own UMPs.
"We already have other bases asking for our training plans, lesson
plans, after action reports and our lessons learned because they want to
implement this program as well," said Metzger. "That's the great part
about all of this. We are now helping other bases establish a program
that I honestly think will save lives."