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50th Security Forces Squadron restructures to increase readiness, morale

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.--50th Security Force Squadron response force team moves to clear a building in a simulated active shooter scenario during a field training exercise at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, July 20, 2019. The FTX consisted of a simulated gate crash, a series of active shooters scenarios throughout the base and a squadron recall to test their mobilization.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Coleman-Foster)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – The 50th Security Forces Squadron changed their shift schedule from 12 to eight hours in an effort to increase connection, morale and project a position of strength in the base’s defense. The Alaskan Flex schedule reduces a 50th SFS defenders’ schedules enabling Airmen to get more rest, focus on education, family and other personal affairs outside of work. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Coleman-Foster)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – The 50th Security Forces Squadron modified work schedules in an effort to increase connection, morale and project a position of strength for installation defense.

Security Forces guidance was updated by the Air Force Security Force Center with an emphasis on the long-term negative effects of the 12-hour shift on the human body as it relates to performance for Airmen. Air Force leadership took interest in changing to eight-hour hour shifts to balance other mission requirements.

Staff Sgt. Kelley Branch, 50th SFS operations staff noncommissioned officer, said in order to see this through, the 50th SFS leadership team mandated and implemented a schedule called the Alaskan Flex Schedule, limiting defenders of 12 hour shifts.

The Alaskan Flex schedule reduces defenders’ schedules by four hours a day during most of the work week enabling Airmen to get more rest, focus on education, family and other personal affairs.   

“We are seeking to balance other quality of life factors to include schedule consistency, leave opportunities, developmental education and training on th e duty shift,” Branch said. “The average defender will now work about 430 fewer hours per year, bringing them closer to the number of hours worked by the average Airman.”

In order for this change to occur, 50th SFS operations and the 50th SFS command team, along with other key unit leadership, worked together to create a schedule focusing on an Airman’s time and reducing the impact on their livelihood.

“Certain worldwide deployments and staff positions were either eliminated or combined with other positions in order to accommodate the change,” Senior Master Sgt. Jason Spedding 50th SFS operations superintendent said.

According to Spedding, all 50th SFS flight personnel were re-aligned from a four-flight system to a five-flight system, with the change not only improving the work hours for 50th SFS personnel, as well as produces a more alert and lethal defender.

“When going to eight-hour hour shifts we can reduce the chance of poor judgement by a posted defender due to mental or physical exhaustion,” he said.

The schedule is dependent on the squadron’s [worldwide] deployment obligations and other mission related considerations.

“Our squadron will always seek to pursue opportunities to ensure our defenders are ready through a measured work-life balance,” Branch said.   

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