Missile Security Operations Concept now SFG reality

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Tristan Truesdell
  • 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs
Last year on Oct. 6, the Missile Security Operating Concept was initiated and restructured the 341st Security Forces Group, resulting in a new squadron; the 841st Missile Security Forces Squadron.

Originally conceived by the 91st Security Forces Group at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, in November 2016, the idea was to have an entire squadron deploy to the missile field simultaneously as a full unit.

Only two missile security squadrons existed at Malmstrom before the concept, which are the 341st Missile Security Forces Squadron and 741st MSFS.

According to Col. Aaron Guill, 341st SFG commander, the two existing squadrons accomplished various aspects of the mission, but never entirely took responsibility of the mission in the missile field.

“Now, we have three identical squadrons,” he said. “When they are posted to the field, the commander is responsible for all security forces operations in the missile complex.”

“It represents the unity of command and effort of our forces out there, which has greatly contributed to better cohesiveness,” he continued. “That translates to mission effectiveness and increased success throughout the unit.”

The concept includes an increase in training days, protected time off for Airmen and more predictable work schedules.

“Being able to train with your unit is a big factor,” said Staff Sgt. Christopher Layou, 341st MSFS flight security controller. “It’s a plus when you get to be out in the field with them and knowing who you’re with.”

Layou also said the increase in time spent as a unit promotes bonding and understanding among one another.

The positive of having predictable work schedules, which now follow an average person’s work week, guarantee defenders two weekends off per every three weekends. Airmen also have their time off protected, which boosted morale.

“We built the schedule and the squadrons in such a way so we won’t need to bring people in on their time off,” said Guill.

The predictable schedule grants protected time off for Airmen and provides more opportunities to spend time at home and work on their personal and professional development.

“A lot of people have kids and spouses at home and now they have that benefit of more time at home,” said Airman 1st Class Elizabeth McInerney, 741st MSFS commander executive administrator. “This has been one of the bonuses of MSOC. Airmen aren’t overworked and we know exactly when we’re posting to and from the field.”

“We get more time for school and volunteer work,” she added. “As an airman first class, that’s important for our career and personal development.”

With MSOC, Airmen are becoming certified in more than one job.

Before the concept came into place, defenders would have different certifications for certain jobs. Now, however, Airmen are being certified in more than one task to be more efficient and self-reliant in the field.

“It plays into us being more versatile in our job titles. Instead of needing one Airman who had one specific certification,” McInerney said. “Now we have multiple Airmen who can do the same thing across three different squadrons. We have more of an advantage.”

Because of the effect MSOC had on the three intercontinental ballistic missile wings, Air Force security forces units are being influenced by some of its characteristics, according to Guill.

“We did a review looking at our goals and objectives for MSOC,” he said. “Did we sustain the duty schedule? Did we derive the benefits we thought we would from unity of command? Across the evaluation board, we felt we had hit all of them successfully.”

“It’s no longer a concept, it’s a reality,” he added. “MSO is successful because of our Airmen, NCOs, senior NCOs and officers out there. They embraced it and made it successful.”