I served in the USAF Air Police from 1958 to 1962. Duty station: Westover AFB, 8th AF, Strategic Air Command, 814th Combat Defense Squadron.
As an (77150) airman who served his tour during the “Cold War” It is a humbling but proud experience to be among current SFS members who are involved in a brutal ongoing war on foreign soil to say nothing of the sacrifices and heroism of the CDS and SFS who served in Korea, Vietnam and South East Asia. But then I think maybe, just maybe, my experiences helped pave the way for better training, proper acknowledgement of the difficult mission we performed under less than desirable conditions and, these experiences assisted some one some where to arrive at decisions which lead to the development of the current superior Air Force ground combat SFS. In the late '50s and early '60s we did the best we could with what we had.
In the '50s and early '60s SAC base defense was directed towards preventing sabotage, at least in the ConUS it was. However, strike teams were sent out without proper training, nuclear weapon transport from the WOB storage facility to alert aircraft was conducted with out proper briefings (don't let the convoy be broken up) they forgot to say what to do and how to prevent it. When we pulled duty at the gates leading to the flight line we could draw any weapon we wanted M2 Carbine, BAR, Grease Gun it made no difference. When we were assigned to a Strike Team it was as if some one took a page out of the Key Stone Cops.
Finally we went to our Flight Sgt. and said we had enough of not knowing what to do and asked him to take our flight and give us some training. Sgt Bayshore, a Veteran of the Korean War, got permission to do just that. From then on each member of the Strike team was properly armed, understood their duty assignment, and could back up each other if one of us became incapacitated. He made arraignments with the local Army National Guard to use their firing range so we could qualify, practice and conducted drills in our off duty hours to keep our skill level up on weapons, cross fire indexing, and perimeter security. That was Korea teaching the “Cold War.” I can only hope that we are intelligent enough to listen to our current veterans to prepare us for future responsibilities.
The general public doesn't hear that often of what it took to serve our country during the “Cold War” here in the ConUS. We were under staffed, under trained, over worked and seen as a unnecessary annoyance by some Base Commanders who needed to get the crews in the air as fast as possible. “Why check a line badge when the crews just came out of the alert facility.” If I heard that comment once I heard it a thousand times.