Outside its typical area of expertise dominating air, space, and cyberspace, the Air Force isn’t widely known for its capabilities that extend past its traditional mission set. Enter a relatively unknown Air Force capability: base defense.  Cross that capability with a special National Geographic production, and one of the Air Force’s “least acclaimed missions” is thrust into the spotlight.

In a recent 15 June premiere of National Geographic’s miniseries “Inside Combat Rescue: The Last Stand”, the Air Force’s base defense capability was highlighted as it followed a “unique group of Security Forces airmen whose main mission is to go outside the wire and protect expeditionary bases.”  In this NatGeo special, the film crews embed with “Reaper” teams of the 755th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan.

According to the Air Force Times, this new NatGeo episode features “Airmen from the 820th Base Defense Group at Moody AFB, Ga., and the 105th Base Defense Squadron (ANG) from Stewart, N.Y, during their latest deployment…[they] were documented during their hunt for Subhanullah, an insurgent operating around Bagram Airfield.”  The next airing of the special is Wednesday, 18 June at 9pm ET.

Reaper team on patrol in Afghanistan, courtesy of AF.mil
Reaper team on patrol in Afghanistan, courtesy of AF.mil

As SOFREP has previously reported, Air Force Security Forces (SF) are widely recognized as conducting primarily law enforcement-related work, in line with the Army Military Police or Navy Master-at-Arms.  However, there is an additional mission set that Air Force SF is capable of supporting, and that is highlighted in the Reapers’ base defense role in Afghanistan.