Civilian defenders stand with active duty Airmen in protecting Maxwell AFB

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jackson Manske
  • Air University Public Affairs

Maxwell Air Force Base depends on its civilian defenders to help protect the community and keep the installation safe.

Civilian defenders are government civilian employees who are trained to respond to the same scenarios as their active duty military counterparts. They are involved in every aspect of base law enforcement including conducting patrols, guarding the flight line and entry control duty at the bases’ gates. 

Maxwell’s team of 20 civilian defenders are granted law enforcement authority equal to active duty defenders by the installation commander.

“Maxwell-Gunter civilian defenders are an integral part of our total force,” said Lt. Col. Lee Anderson, 42nd SFS commander. “They directly enable our mission to protect and serve Maxwell-Gunter and our mission partners.”

The majority of base civilian defenders are former Air Force active duty security forces personnel. However, the civilian defenders also boast a former Navy master-at-arms, a Marine Corps military police officer and former SWAT officers and detectives from major city police departments.

“Our whole purpose of being here is to provide continuity of law enforcement when security forces Airmen get tasked with scheduled and unscheduled deployments,” said John Huffman, 42nd Security Forces Squadron civilian police supervisor and a retired Marine Corps military police master gunnery sergeant. “We are here to ensure the transition of leadership and the transition of command operates smoothly and that there are no glitches in the law enforcement.”

Anderson said that the stability civilian defenders provide for the unit enable them to carry out their mission.

“Every day, our civilian defenders work side-by-side with their military counterparts defending the installation,” said Anderson. “Their professional, respectful and courteous interactions with the public we serve provide the protection and security expertise that our community and country expect.”