All EST emblems and Images are copyright protected.

Do not duplicated or copy any EST images or emblems without permission. All photos are personal property or used with permission.

Creative Commons License by Roberto Bonefont, Sr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at

TNT / EST Tribute Print

TNT / EST Tribute Print
Order Yours Today!

Historical AFSESF (Air Force Special Emergency Service Flight) Photo

Historical AFSESF (Air Force Special Emergency Service Flight) Photo
Operators involved in "Operation Eagle" SP Academy AFSESF


Dedicated to the men and women of the USAF Security Forces/Security Police who were active members of the Emergency Service Teams; to those who were EST Field Supervisors and helped trained numerous teams that supported high risk operations on and off Air Force installations and in support of other agencies.
To that small group of instructors who put us through the paces and gave us the confidence to train other teams... "We Salute You!"

TAC TV - More "Must See" TV from Larry Vickers !

USAF Emergency Service Teams Banners

USAF Emergency Service Teams-A Brief History


Donate to the USAF Security Forces Museum

Donate to the USAF Security Forces Museum

E.S.T. School Team Pictures & Other Team Photos

If you are interested in seeing these historical photos, please come join us at our Yahoo Group Website. See the link below: E.S.T. Operators, Past and Present... ***Special thanks to the SP Museum Curator for sending us the Class Photos*** Milita Rios-Samaniego Museum Director/Curator USAF Security Forces Museum Lackland AFB, TX 78236-5429*** *PLEASE DROP HER A THANK YOU NOTE AND DON'T FORGET TO DONATE TO THE MUSEUM, IT'S OUR LEGACY!***

Tactical Impact

For more videos - go to :

Air Force Together We Served Website

Lackland AFB Emergency Service Team - The Final Option

Thanks to TSgt Justin King for showing us the link to the video, and thanks to the Air Force Audio/Visual people at Lackland AFB for putting it together.

In Memory of Operator Neal A. Aldridge, TSgt, USAF Retired

Tribute ...Speaks for itself. Dedicated to all our Security Forces

The Defender Project - Time to Start Writing!! Support this Project!

The Defender Project ------ Click on The Defender Project! ----Air Police, Security Police, Security Forces----- -------------From working Customs for the Marines going into Okinawa to running dismounted patrols outside Bagram to parachuting into Iraq, SF members have seen, experienced, enjoyed or endured many different experiences, hardships and dangers in the performance of their duties. Defenders have guarded the B-29s that dropped Little Boy and Fat Man, patrolled Kimpo Air Base in the bitter cold, hunted VC outside Pleiku, escorted convoys throughout Afghanistan and Iraq, and of course performed law enforcement missions in every corner of the world. -----------It’s time to tell some of those stories.

Keflavik Emergency Service Team - Thanks to SFGONEPOSTAL for posting on You Tube.

24th SPS Emergency Service Team AFRTS Broadcast Howard AFB, Panama

E.S.T. Foot Prints on the Wall - HAFB Panama Theater Demo

The Final Option - Our Favorite Movie - "Who Dares Wins"

S.W.A.T. Movie Trailer

Original S.W.A.T. TV Series

Remembering One Of Our Own - Security Forces Erik Hite -Rest In Peace, Brother.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

USAF Emergency Service Teams (E.S.T.) Past and Present

51st Security Police Squadron, South Korea, E.S.T. Coin and Patch


Howard AFB E.S.T. Patch, the patch honors the 1st operational mission by the E.S.T. Cadre from Lackland AFB, known as Operation Eagle. The Eagle in the center honors that mission, the triangle of preparation, lists outside of the triangle the three E.S.T. tenants of training; mental/physical conditioning, tactics and shooting skills.


Maybe it was time to put up a blog site dedicated to the early days of training the first Emergency Service Teams. The history of the teams start with the T.N.T. (Tactical Neutralization Team) Teams. I am not sure how accurate my information really is; but the push to have SWAT teams in the Air Force started with a small cadre of Security Police Instructors who attended the Basic F.B.I. SWAT course, I believe led by a then TSgt Sexton (later Chief Sexton). They returned to Lackland AFB in Texas to plan, organize and implement policy and training doctrine that eventually led to the Emergency Service Teams becoming viable Special Operations Units tasked with high risk operations. There was an initial written policy covering how to equip, train and employ the T.N.T. teams; eventually an Air Force Regulation was written to change the name to Emergency Service Team including specific guidelines for employment of the teams. If my memory serves me correctly, the Lackland Team was also tasked with providing protection for the the last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi when he was seeking medical treatment before his death. On 22 October 1979 President Jimmy Carter allowed the Shah to make a brief stopover in the United States to undergo medical treatment. I believe the tasking was called Operation Eagle. The instructor cadre, I believe also tested new and innovative tactics and equipment at the Security Police Academy, which led to a short lived concept of having a deployable EST team, they had a name but I can't remember specifically what they were called at that time.

From T.N.T. to E.S.T. the transformation was fast and non-stop and it started with this small cadre of Security Police at Lackland AFB, San Antonio, Texas. The initial training started at Camp Bullis and eventually was moved to Lackland AFB.

I want to have this blog document this history. If you were ever on an EST or TNT or was part of the initial planning cadre to start the training at Camp Bullis; then this blog is about you, for you and the men and women that made up the Emergency Service Teams of the United States Air Force Security Police/Security Forces, past and present.

Above: On the range qualifying our team snipers at Howard AFB, Panama

I, like many others before me and after... trained E.S.T.s for 15 years. My first experience with becoming aware with SWAT teams and Special Operation Forces was with my first assignment overseas. While stationed in Germany in 1977, I attended an F.B.I. SOAR's (Special Operations And Research) briefing on terrorism. In fact it was held during the week that the now famous and well known GSG-9 assault on Lufthansa airliner flight 181,that had been hijacked to Somalia.

It was during this briefing that we were introduced to then Col. Ulrich K. Wegener (Ret. Gen.), the founder of Germany's Special Operation Unit Grenzschutzgruppe 9 (GSG-9).

click on emblem above for more on GSG-9
Where he personally went over the mission in some detail without covering what was then considered "classified" information among the military attending the course.

This briefing initially sparked my interest in special operation units especially the concept of being a member of a military SWAT team.


Above: Langley AFB, VA (F.B.I. Trained) USAF E.S.T. 1990-1995, Trainers: SA Bud Evans, Norfolk F.B.I. (Retired) and SSgt Mark Anderson, E.S.T. Field Supervisor (Retired MSgt).

Above and Below: Author on point with the Langley AFB EST during field training with the F.B.I.

Eventually the Langley EST responds to a actual situation at Ft. Eustis, Virginia

Above: Langley AFB E.S.T. preparing to board a bus during field training.

Above: Howard AFB, Republic of Panama, E.S.T. 1983-1989, TSgt Roberto Bonefont, Sr., Field Supervisor, Assistant Field Supervisor, TSgt Michael Tsung.

Howard AFB E.S.T. Coin - Concept Designed© by Michael Tsung, MSgt, USAF, Retired

Mike not only provided the concept design but provided the funding for the coins and every member received a coin. Since then, Mike has given to coin out only to those deserving. In the picture below of Mike, he is also modeling the Howard AFB E.S.T. Flash©, also provided by Mike, from concept to funding. The flash design© was based on a design concept© developed by the author while stationed at Charleston AFB, S.C. The actual design was based on the three E.S.T. tenants of training, Mental/Physical Conditioning, Tactics and Shooting Skills, see the HAFB E.S.T. Coin and the full color patch below.

Thank you Mike!
Above: Mike Tsung

Above: Rappeling, using the sky-genie at Howard AFB, Republic of Panama

Above: 2nd Team I assisted in training at Howard AFB, Republic of Panama, the Field Supervisor I replaced was SSgt James Anderson.

Above: Course Completion Day, Charleston AFB, S.C.

After graduating from the Air Force E.S.T. course in Sept. 1980, I returned to Charleston AFB, S.C. to organize and train a new team. There were originally ten of us.

1st team trained under "Tactics For Emergency Service Teams Course" curriculum material, 1980, SSgt Roberto Bonefont, Sr., E.S.T. Field Supervisor. In this picture, our OIC, Capt Tompkins, our LE Training NCO, SSgt Flannery, who assisted and supported team training for the teams.

Above: Charleston AFB, S.C. E.S.T. getting ready for training.

This picture above was one of the few training opportunities we had at Charleston AFB, we got support to meet quarterly to qualify and train in high risk operations. Back then, that was a blessing for training. So whenever we could, we trained.
Above: Charleston AFB E.S.T. takes a knee during a break in training.

Above: Charleston AFB E.S.T. practicing movement...

Above: Charleston AFB E.S.T. practicing lifts.


Protecting, then Vice-President George Bush, notice the unique flashes on the berets, they were actually authorized for wear, by our then Base Commander, Colonel Neff, Mike Tsung was kind enough to remind me that they were authorized.

On the firing line, firing Uzi submachine guns, while training with the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, State Department, Republic of Panama.

On the firing range at Howard AFB, Panama, putting new members through the paces, stress course of fire, etc.

Practicing riot control, EST's were used as apprehension teams.

Our field exercises were sometimes too realistic, plenty of two by heavies during this field exercise.

E.S.T. Training goes South!
Perhaps the only Air Force EST Mobile Training Team to teach in South America?

As part of a Mobile Training Team (MTT) to Uruguay, we trained their Air Force GOE (Grupo de Operaciones Especial/Special Operations Group) on Tactics for Emergency Service Teams, the bilingual team was selected from various bases, the team was an all NCO team. The GOE, a select group of Air Force Infantry men and qualified airborne soldiers were strictly business and looking for added strategies to help combat the rise in criminal and terrorist activity in their country. We provided them with ample challenge and plenty of practice to get the job done. Photos below document that training.

Author Above with the E.S.T. Mobile Training Team in Uruguay training the Air Force GOE, visible team members, l to r: Author, TSgt Myles, SSgt Rivas, and MSgt Archbold.

Author on the firing range during a stress course of fire.
Members of the GOE


j mark said...

I wonder if I can pull some of the video, covert to digital and post it to you. I will see what I can do.

Roberto Bonefont, Sr. said...

Actually I have some video that I'm putting up on Google video and then placing on the blog site, so yes...the answer is SI...!!!!

el jefe