AFI 31-207 PDF

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This instruction governs actions taken by all USAF personnel performing civil support missions e. The guidance contained in paragraph 1. The program management guidance in Chapter 2 applies to all USAF personnel regardless of duty assignment or location.

Notwithstanding the guidance in this instruction, host nation laws and international agreements may limit the means available for accomplishing law enforcement or security duties. Commanders at all levels must teach and train their personnel how and when to use both non-deadly and deadly force in self-defense. USAF personnel, to include military, civilian, and contractor personnel, will use only that force which is reasonably necessary to accomplish their duties in conformity with the Constitution of the United States, federal statutes, and DoD policy.

Reasonable force may be used by USAF personnel while conducting authorized missions or official duties to obtain compliance from an individual or individuals to meet lawful objectives or mission requirements.

These lawful objectives include, but are not limited to, reasonable searches, seizures, and apprehensions; defense of assets vital to national security or inherently dangerous; preventing a person from self-injury, conducting protective detail operations; preventing prisoner escapes; dissolving riots and other forms of civil unrest when directed by proper authority; maintaining good order and discipline; and overcoming resistance to lawful orders.

Unit commanders always retain the inherent right and obligation to exercise unit selfdefense in response to a hostile act or demonstrated hostile intent. Unit self-defense includes the defense of other DoD forces in the vicinity. Air Force personnel may exercise self-defense in response to a hostile act or hostile intent, unless lawfully directed otherwise by their unit commander. The Use of Force does not apply solely to firearms and deadly force confrontations but all applications of lethal and non-lethal force.

Objective Reasonableness and Totality of Circumstances. Normally, force is to be used only as a last resort, and the force used should be the minimum necessary.

Law enforcement or security personnel may have an obligation to apprehend rather than permit an individual to withdraw. Deadly force is to be used only when all lesser means have failed or cannot reasonably be employed. In some circumstances, force, including deadly force, may be the only option available to respond to a hostile act or hostile intent.

The use of force must be reasonable in intensity, duration, and magnitude based on the totality of the circumstances to counter the threat. In Graham v. Connor, U. The Supreme Court recognized in Graham v. Connor that law enforcement and security personnel have to make split-second judgments concerning the use of force under circumstances that are tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving The US Supreme Court has held that reasonableness under the Fourth Amendment does not require the least intrusive force alternative be applied, only a reasonable one.

In effecting a seizure, individuals performing law enforcement or security duties draw from a reservoir of options, ranging from simple displays of authority, to the application of various levels of non-lethal force, to the use of deadly force itself. Facts dictate the appropriate response, and those facts--as well as the choice of response--are subject to close scrutiny. Connor, the Supreme Court emphasized four factors affecting the use of force in a particular situation. These four factors are the severity of the crime, whether the person poses an immediate threat to the safety of the officer or others, whether the person is actively resisting, or whether the person is attempting to evade apprehension by flight.

Additional factors courts use in applying the standard of Graham v. Using Force. Officer Perception. The Fourth Amendment standard of reasonableness does not lend itself to a precise definition or mechanical application, however the principle of objective reasonableness can be simplified into three basic elements to promote understanding of the standard the elements, however, are not a standard of law.

Each element is linked to the others; all three elements must be analyzed to establish the basis of reasonableness in use of force. The elements of reasonableness apply to all uses of force and not just those where the officer or sentry is in jeopardy.

All three elements must be perceived in determining the reasonableness of an officers action to employ or escalate force in order to obtain compliance. The three elements are: 1. This element addresses the ability-capability of the subject to carry out a threatened action.

The officer or sentry must perceive the person proposing the action or threat is capable of performing the action. This element indicates the action or threat the officer or sentry perceives is imminent but not necessarily instantaneous. This is the mental state initiating an overt act words or deeds in the furtherance of a threat, action, or crime.

Subject Action. As in the elements of reasonableness, subject actions cannot be defined mechanically, but can be structured into behavioral categories to promote understanding of the concept. Compliant Cooperative. Resistant Passive. The subject exhibits the preliminary level of noncompliance and requires some degree of physical contact in order to obtain compliance.

Resistant Active. Assaultive Serious Bodily Harm. The subject exhibits intent, opportunity and capability of physical aggression that the officer perceives is not lethal to him or others. Officer Response. Reasonableness does not require officers to select the least intrusive or minimum force available, only a reasonable one. Use of Deadly Force. The use of deadly force must meet the objective reasonableness standard. Deadly force, when reasonable, should be used only when all lesser means of force have failed or cannot reasonably be employed.

Inherent Right of Self-Defense. Deadly force is authorized when individuals reasonably believe that a person poses an imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm to DoD forces. Defense of Others.

Deadly force is authorized in defense of non-DoD persons in the vicinity, when directly related to the assigned mission. Assets Vital to National Security. Deadly force is authorized when deadly force reasonably appears to be necessary to prevent the actual theft or sabotage of assets vital to national security. The DoD designates its assets as "vital to national security" only when their loss, damage, or compromise would seriously jeopardize the fulfillment of a national defense mission.

Installation commanders must identify these resources specifically designated as assets vital to national security, and the procedures they will use to inform armed personnel of such specifically designated property in their installation security instruction.

Inherently Dangerous Property. Deadly force is authorized when it reasonably appears to be necessary to prevent the actual theft or sabotage of inherently dangerous property. Property is considered inherently dangerous if its theft or sabotage would present a substantial danger of death or serious bodily harm to others. This includes weapons, ammunition, missiles, rockets, explosives, chemical agents, and special nuclear material.

Installation commanders must identify resources specifically designated as inherently dangerous to others and procedures they will use to inform armed personnel of such specifically designated property in their installation security instruction.

National Critical Infrastructure. Deadly force is authorized when deadly force reasonably appears to be necessary to prevent the sabotage of national critical infrastructure.

This includes the destruction of public utilities or similar critical infrastructure vital to public health or safety, the damage of which would create an imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm.

Serious Offenses Against Persons. Deadly force is authorized when deadly force reasonably appears to be necessary to prevent the commission of a serious offense that involves imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm for example, setting fire to an inhabited dwelling or encountering a sniper , including the defense of other persons, where deadly force is directed against the person threatening to commit the offense.

Examples include murder, armed robbery and aggravated assault. Deadly force is authorized when it reasonably appears to be necessary to prevent the escape of a prisoner, provided there is probable cause to believe such person s have AFI 29 JANUARY committed or attempted to commit a serious offense, that is, one that involves imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm, and would pose an imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm to DoD forces or others in the vicinity.

Arrest or Apprehension. Deadly force is authorized when deadly force reasonably appears necessary to arrest or apprehend a person who, there is probable cause to believe, has committed a serious offense as indicated in paragraphs 1. When possible, an order to HALT will be given before discharging a firearm.

Show due regard for the safety of innocent bystanders when using deadly force. NOTE: Shots will not be fired as a warning to suspects unless specifically authorized in overseas theater directives. During protection and recovery operations involving nuclear weapons or lethal chemical agents, the presence of innocent bystanders or hostages must not deter individuals or commanders from stopping the attack through all means necessary.

Commanders may impose further restrictions on the use of deadly force to comply with local or host-nation laws and Status of Forces Agreements SOFA. Such restrictions must not unduly compromise United States national security interests, and must be published in local installation instructions.

Use of Non-Lethal Force. Non-lethal force is subject to the same standards of objective reasonableness and totality of circumstances as deadly force. Use of Force Training. Arming Group A personnel will be trained once every 12 months on use of force see para 2. Commanders will ensure Group B personnel are provided use of force training prior to authorizing them to be armed and then annually thereafter as long as continued arming is required. Use of Force and ROE training do not replace any other training requirements.

Use of Force training for deployment is good for 12 months or the entire length of the deployment, regardless of duration. This is specifically designed as an additional training event. Annual use of force training, for Security Forces, both classroom and practical, will address deadly firearms and non-lethal force options. Annual use of force training for Group A will include performance based practical training incorporating decision-making scenarios.

Annual not to exceed 12 months deadly force and use of force training for Group A personnel should include USAF approved simulated firearms systems. The use of dye and man marking cartridge systems is preferred and strongly encouraged.

USAF approved virtual training simulators and integrated laser based weapons training devices are acceptable. Providing practical use of force training immediately following weapons live fire qualification training is strongly encouraged.

Firearms are an instrument of deadly force. Commanders will only issue firearms to support missions and contingencies in which deadly force may be authorized. USAF personnel eligible to bear firearms must belong to one of the two arming groups below. Additionally, authorizations may be issued to bear firearms openly, concealed, and in overseas locations.

Authority to bear firearms will be based on consideration of duty assignment paragraph 2.


AFI 31-207 Arming and Use of Force by Air Force.pdf








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