PFPA History

Semper Vigilans - Always Vigilant

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The Pentagon Force Protection Agency



United States Special Policemen during the 1940´s
United States Special Policemen during the 1940's

The Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA) traces its roots directly to the General Services Administration´s (GSA) United States Special Policemen (USSP) and a variety of security and security related functions originally located throughout the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Prior to 1971 the GSA´s USSP provided law enforcement‚ safety and security functions at the Pentagon. The protection programs were a “guard-watchman” operation‚ where USSP focused primarily on the protection of property. However‚ as a result of a growing number of disruptive incidents throughout the country‚ GSA reexamined its security program. In response to the mass demonstrations‚ bombings and bomb threats of the era‚ the Federal Protective Service was established to provide comprehensive protection of the Pentagon and its personnel rather than the previous policy of concentration on property.

On Oct. 1‚ 1987‚ the GSA Administrator delegated the authority for protecting the Pentagon Reservation to the Department of Defense (DoD). To carry out the new mission‚ DoD established the Defense Protective Service (DPS) as a new element within the Washington Headquarters Service (WHS)‚ a DoD Field Operating Activity. In addition‚ the scope of the mission of the DPS was expanded beyond the 280-acre “Pentagon Reservation” to numerous other DoD activities and facilities within the National Capital Region (NCR). During the early 1990´s‚ the various security and security-related functions located within WHS were consolidated and transferred to the DPS.

PFPA 2002-present

On May 3‚ 2002‚ in response to the terrorist attack against the Pentagon on Sept. 11‚ 2001 and the subsequent anthrax incidents‚ Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz established the Pentagon Force Protection Agency as a Department of Defense Agency under the cognizance of the Director of Administration and Management‚ under the Office of the Secretary of Defense. This new agency absorbed the DPS and its role of providing basic law enforcement and security for the Pentagon.

PFPA Officers in 2007
PFPA Officers in 2007

Since its creation‚ PFPA has expanded its mission and provides force protection against a full spectrum of potential threats. While law enforcement is still a major portion of its mission‚ the agency also handles operations security‚ building surveillance‚ crisis prevention‚ consequence management‚ counterintelligence‚ antiterrorism‚ Hazmat and explosives‚ protection of high ranking DoD officials‚ information technology and administrative issues. PFPA continues to evolve making it one of the Nation's premiere Federal law enforcement organizations; defending the Pentagon's personnel‚ facilities‚ and infrastructure against numerous‚ mounting threats.






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