Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

October 7, 2010

Moody group changes name, not mission

VALDOSTA — During an early morning redesignation ceremony Thursday at Moody AFB, the 820th Security Forces Group became the 820th Base Defense Group.

Though the name change officially occurred on Oct. 1, 2010, the ceremony gave members of the group a chance to hear from Brig. Gen. Richard Coleman (ret.), former Director of Security Forces.

In 1997, Coleman helped make the Security Forces Group a reality within the United States Air Force.

The name change does not change the operational duties of the group. It is still the only unit of its kind in the Air Force responsible for integrated base defense in high-threat areas.

“The name of the organization has changed but the mission itself hasn’t changed,” said Col. John Horner, commander of the 93d Air Ground Operations Wing.

Horner presented the 820th Base Defense Group to various guests by detailing their recent accomplishments and future operations.

Since 9/11 the group has been constantly active serving in various locations throughout the Middle East and in places closer to home like New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina and more recently in Haiti following the earthquake.

Portions of the group are currently gearing up to head back to the Middle East as well, Horner said.

The 820th Base Defense Group is charged with ensuring that bases do not

 come under attack, Horner.

The 820th Security Forces Group was activated in 1997, but Coleman’s idea for a security forces group within the Air Force began forming in 1958.

Having enlisted in 1956, Coleman and a group of about 20 others were sent to defend and protect the deployment of aircraft at the base in China in 1958.

“We didn’t know anything or each other and I said to myself ‘Something is wrong with this,” Coleman said.

A general by the name of Ron Fogleman and several others would eventually give Coleman a chance to put his ideas for a security forces group into action in the 1990s.

A base for the group to call home would come later when Coleman met with Parker Greene. During the ceremony, Coleman joked that Greene took him to a cabin under the pretense of serving him and others dinner and then held him hostage until Coleman agreed to house the 820th at Moody Air Force Base.

“We have a term called soldier, it’s not army and it’s not marine, it’s a state of mind, it’s an adjective, verb and noun and you guys have paid a big price but keep it up,” Coleman said.

After the redesignation order was read, the four squadrons officially became the 820th Base Defense Group with the 822nd, 823rd and 824th Security Forces Squadrons changing to Base Defense Squadrons. The 820th Combat Operations Squadron did not change their designation.

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