HILTON HEAD, S.C. -- The Federal Law Enforcement Training Accreditation Board granted initial program accreditation status to the 343rd Training Squadron's Security Forces Basic Officer and Apprentice Courses at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland recently.
Air Force Director of Security Forces Brig. Gen. James McMillian said, "This has been a long time coming for our career field to be recognized and accepted as professional federal training programs. The 343rd is one of only 24 federal agencies nationwide to join the prestigious ranks of FLETA which includes the FBI Agent Training Program, U.S. Secret Service Special Agent Training, and the U.S. Marshals Deputy Training Program to name a few."
FLETA is an independent accreditation process that gives law enforcement training agencies the opportunity to demonstrate their adherence to an established set of professional standards. The goal of accreditation is to improve training quality and support organizational and operational success. To accomplish this goal, trainers in the same discipline, working through a professional accrediting body, assist each other in evaluating and improving their professionalism.
The overall accreditation provides assurance to community citizens that local law enforcement agencies have voluntarily submitted to a process of self-regulation, and have successfully achieved compliance standards.
To achieve accreditation, the 343rd TRS had to submit to an independent review of its training programs to ensure compliance with FLETA's standards and procedures in the areas of program administration, training staff, training development and training delivery.
The officer and apprentice courses were assessed in December 2011 as two FLETA teams took a detailed look at the courses. After successfully completing the process with no deficiencies or suggested areas for improvement, squadron officials presented attributes of the courses to the FLETA board, which met in Hilton Head March 21.
Lt. Col. Chris Echols, 343rd TRS commander, led a team of three in the presentation to the board. Echols emphasized the security forces mission to "Protect, Defend and Fight to enable Air Force, Joint and Coalition Missions."
He also described the magnitude of responsibility the 343rd TRS has in producing more than 5,000 graduates annually between the two accreditation candidate courses. The FLETA board voted unanimously to welcome the Security Forces Basic Officer and Apprentice Courses into the FLETA community.