Operational between 1966 and 1997, the United States Air Force Security Police (AFSP) was one of four iterations of an organization that today is known as the United States Air Force Security Forces. It is tasked with the protection and defense of missions being executed by the Air Force, as well as Joint and Coalition forces.

The AFSP’s origins date to 1943, when USAF luminary General Henry “Hap” Arnold created the Office of the Air Provost Marshal, who was tasked with providing U.S. Army Air Forces bases with law enforcement, internal policing and base defense. To that end, Air Provost Marshal General Allen Guillon established three organizations: Military Police (MP) Companies (Aviation), Guard Companies, and Air Base Security Battalions. Guard Companies, later renamed Guard Squadrons, performed policing duties and were responsible for internal guard duties at domestic air bases, while MP Companies performed those duties abroad.

Air Base Security Battalions, on the other hand, were the Army Air Force’s equivalent of Infantry. Outfitted with a full array of small arms including mortars, machine guns, bazookas, and grenade launchers, as well armored assets such as self-propelled guns, half-tracks, and in some cases light tanks. Nearly 300 of these Battalions were originally planned, but Allied forces gained air superiority very quickly, and on the ground the Germans posed little threat to the air bases that were established in France and Europe. As a result, the Battalions that had been formed began to be dismantled as early as late 1943.

Throughout the years, these organizations underwent several changes both in name and scope o duty. With the creation of the United States Air Force in 1948, the Military Police that had been serving in the Army Air Force were transferred to the new service and called Air Police. In 1966, the Air Police were renamed Security Police, and it was during the Vietnam War that they established some of the doctrines and tactics that are still in place today, including the use of sentry dogs (now known as Military Working Dogs, or MWDs).

Another important event in the history of the AFSP came in 1982, when Combat Arms Training and Maintenance (CATM) was placed under the operational purview of Security Police. Fifteen years later, the Security Police became the Security Forces with AFSC 3P0X1and two shredouts, 3P0X1A and AFSCs 3P0X1B, devoted to MWDs and CATM.
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