MCAS Cherry Point News


Photo Information

U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Jason Davids, a military police officer with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, instructs a class about firing an M-9 service pistol during a pistol range at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, May 15, 2019. The Marines training to become a part of SAF go through numerous courses to become highly qualified assets. Marines in Security Augmentation Force training are required to qualify on the pistol range as well as participate in defensive tactics training, a gate procedures class, vehicle search training and qualify for level one contamination with oleoresin capsicum spray. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Micha Pierce)

Photo by Cpl. Micha Pierce

SAF makes Cherry Point safe

21 Jan 2020 | Cpl. Andrew King Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point

Have you ever wanted to be a military police officer (MP) or work in law enforcement outside of the Marine Corps?

Well you’re in luck, like every other Marine Corps installation, Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point, North Carolina, has its own Security Augmentation Force (SAF) where you can experience the responsibilities of an MP, without having to actually be one. SAF members are like the reservists of the Provosts Marshalls Office (PMO), only called upon when needed.

“The purpose of SAF is to provide PMO with trained and qualified Marines in the event their capacities are exceeded, such as during an emergency or severe weather,” said Capt. Matthew McNew, the MCAS Cherry Point ordnance officer and SAF commander.

In order to be eligible for SAF, prospective members have to be recommended by their chain of command, complete a medical screening and graduate from the two week SAF course consisting of classroom lectures on different regulations that apply to PMO, defensive tactics, firearms handling and being sprayed with oleoresin capsicum.

Typical duties of SAF include standing watch at one of the gates every three months and assisting PMO in other capacities whenever the commanding officer deems necessary.

McNew said he believes the most important aspect of SAF is the quick response time in the event of an emergency, providing reassurance not only to PMO, but to the MCAS Cherry Point commanding officer as well.

Right now there are roughly 40 Marines assigned to SAF, with plans to increase that number through the next class being held Feb. 3-14, 2020.

“For the leadership on the installation, SAF is a great tool,” said McNew. “For the Marines assigned to it, it is an outstanding opportunity; they get a wealth of experience and knowledge that helps not only their career in the Marine Corps, but also if they want to do law enforcement when they get out.”

For more information about SAF or to sign up for the next course speak with your chain of command. You can also learn more here;

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