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Air and Space Power Journal. Volume 30, Number 2, Summer 2016

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Journal Article

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Air Force Research Institute Maxwell AFB United States

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The alarm sounded at 1310L, just as many Airmen were returning from lunch. Terrorist activity was reported near the base, and the threat was determined to be imminent. As the base rapidly worked through elevating force protection conditions, Airmen streamed from buildings to predetermined rally points where they formed into squads, took roll, and waited to arm-up. At the same time, mobile armories deployed from the logistics readiness squadron. Within 90 minutes, about 600 Airmen were armed and ready to assume their battle stations in base defense sectors of responsibility throughout the installation. As command and control was established and posting requirements were met, security forces pulled back into a mobile posture, ready to fill gaps in the defense and provide expertise wherever it was required. Predesignated supplies were distributed to base defense-sector command posts. Airmen not immediately needed for base defense were sent back to work areas or home to rest for later shifts. In just under two hours, the base was transformed from a quiet, peacetime operation into a combat-ready airpower platform ready to repel a level II ground threat.1The base could maintain this posture almost indefinitely. This scenario may sound like fiction, but it is not it recounts a Fight the Base FTB exercise at Scott AFB, Illinois. By providing basic shoot, move, and communicate skills training to Airmen of the mission support group, wing leaders harnessed existing manpower for base defensemanpower that otherwise would have been directed to shelter-in-place during emergencies. This construct can also be used to harness the same manpower under a Recover the Base RTBplan for response after an enemy attack or natural disaster. In an increasingly complex threat environment where safety is no longer determined by distance from the combat zone and in light of emerging operational concepts that count on fewer Airmen trained in more skills, the FTBRTB concepts offer

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