On May 3‚ 2002‚ in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the Pentagon and subsequent anthrax incidents‚ Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz established the Pentagon Force Protection Agency as an agency within the Department of Defense. This new Agency absorbed DPS and assumed DPS’ role of providing basic law enforcement and security for the Pentagon.

Since its creation‚ PFPA has expanded its mission and now provides force-protection services against a full spectrum of potential threats. Law enforcement is still a major part of the Agency’s charge, but PFPA is responsible for operational security‚ building surveillance‚ crisis prevention‚ consequence management‚ counterintelligence‚ antiterrorism‚ hazardous materials response and explosives‚ information technology, and protecting high-ranking DoD officials. PFPA continues to evolve, making it one of the Nation's premier federal law enforcement organizations.

Prior to 2002

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 in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

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 Services (WHS)‚ a DoD field operating activity. In addition‚ the scope of the DPS mission was extended beyond the 280-acre Pentagon Reservation to cover other DoD facilities within the National Capital Region. In the early 1990s‚ the various security and security-related functions located within WHS were consolidated and transferred to DPS.

Prior to 1971, the USSP provided law enforcement‚ safety, and security functions at the Pentagon. The protection programs were guardian-watchman operations‚ whereby USSP focused primarily on the protection of property. However‚ because 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 that era‚ the Federal Protective Service was established to provide comprehensive protection to the Pentagon and Pentagon personnel.




PFPA Timeline

February 20 2022

Police officer training curriculum receives DoD Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission (DoD POST) accreditation, which includes course accreditation of basic law enforcement training courses and certification of law enforcement officers and intelligence analysts.

October 8 2022

Chris Bargery is appointed as acting director of PFPA.

September 11 2022

Chris Bargery is appointed as deputy director of PFPA.

September 1 2022

PFPA marked the official opening of the Pentagon Support Operations Center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sept. 1, 2022. The new facility provides a 24/7 training capability for police officers and special agents, and is also the permanent home for a new, state-of-the-art PFPA range and armory, the K-9 unit with kennels, and the Court Liaison and Evidence Unit.

February 20 2022

Police officer training curriculum receives DoD Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission (DoD POST) accreditation. The DODPOST Commission administers a professional commissioning/licensing program, which includes course accreditation of basis law enforcement training courses and certification of law enforcement officers and intelligence analysts. Successful completion of DoD POST accreditation produces the highest norms of officer performance and behavior through training design, development and delivery and quality control and surveillance process.

November 21 2021

Dr. Daniel P. Walsh is appointed as the fourth director of PFPA.

August 03 2021

PFPA Cpl. George Gonzalez was attacked and killed on the Pentagon Upper Bus Platform.

September 30 2020

Mail screening operations transferred from the Pentagon to the Mark Center.

September 08 2020

PFPA establishes Diversity and Inclusion program and working group to evaluating every aspect of diversity and inclusion within PFPA and address potential issues.

August 2020

PFPA establishes Counter Assault Team (CAT) consisting of PFPA Emergency Response Team operators is established to avert threats from Terror State Actors.

June 2020

PFPA establishes Civil Disturbance Unit in response to DC riots surrounding the death of George Floyd and the attack on the U.S. Court of Military Appeals for the Armed Forces..

October 2018

PFPA is the first and then only DoD Law Enforcement Agency to have its K9 Program approved by the Military Working Dog Program Manager.

June 2018

PFPA implements Counter Suicide Bomber program.

May 2017

Full implementation of Person-Borne Improvised Explosive Device (PBIED) detection capability for Pentagon police canines.

March 2017

PFPA establishes a Pentagon Counter Small Unmanned Aircraft System program.

January 08 2017

Assistant Chief Woody Kusse is appointed as the third PFPA Chief of Police.

November 27 2016

Mr. Jonathan H. Cofer is appointed as the third director of PFPA.

September 2016

PFPA tasked with establishing and maintaining an insider threat program for the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

March 07 2016

New Pentagon Visitor Entrance opens. The new facility includes enhanced technologies and greater capacity to safely screen more than 1,000 daily visitors for hazardous, contraband, and unauthorized material before they enter the Pentagon.

September 7 2015

Pentagon employees begin using the Common Access Card for physical access to the Pentagon.

July 23 2015

Pentagon Shield, a chemical and biological defense monitoring system introduced to the Pentagon in 2006, is completed.

July 2015

PFPA Leadership Development Program established; an in-house leadership development program modeling the Agency’s values and guiding principles.

March 08 2015

Pentagon Office of Emergency Management established to provide the Pentagon a more effective and holistic approach to emergency management, continuity of operations, continuity of government, operations center command and control, and exercises.

April 29 2014

James Ballard is appointed as the second PFPA Chief of Police.

May 07 2012

PFPA's Hazardous Devices Division was officially certified as an FBI-Accredited Bomb Squad.

April 2012

PFPA assumes responsibility for protecting the Defense Health Headquarters in Falls Church, VA.

January 12 2012

Pentagon Emergency Response Center established to house the PFPA CBRNE Headquarters, CBRNE Response Division, Environmental Laboratory, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit (now named Hazardous Devices Division), and Emergency Response Team

August 09 2011

Mark Center Complex opens to its first tenants. PFPA designated as force protection provider. This site was selected as a result of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure process (BRAC 133) to consolidate more than 6,000 DoD employees from commercially-owned leased office space around the DC area.

May 04 2011

PFPA enters into a Memorandum of Understanding with the FBI, establishing the assignment of multiple PFPA special agent positions to FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Forces.

October 19 2010

Marine Reservist Yonathan Melaku opens fire at the Pentagon, hitting the side of the building, but not hurting anyone. PFPA works with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force in the investigation, which includes similar incidents that took place at five other military-related facilities in Northern Virginia.

June 25 2010

PFPA Police Officers Amos, Carraway, Richards, and Jones receive the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Valor for their actions on March 4, 2010.

March 04 2010

Lone gunman, John Patrick Bedell, opened fire on Pentagon Police Officers Jeffery Amos and Marvin Carraway, while attempting to enter the Pentagon. Police officers Amos and Carraway were joined by Officers Colin Richards and Dexter Jones in returning fire on Bedell and kept him from entering the building.

September 2008

PFPA assumes responsibility for protecting the Pentagon Memorial

March 2008

Integrated Emergency Operations Center (IEOC) is established (later re-named the Pentagon Operations Center) in the Pentagon to integrate 911 call-taking, police dispatch, building systems monitoring, chem./bio monitoring and dispatch, and smoke/fire alarm monitoring.

August 2007

PFPA expands protective services for Office of the Secretary of Defense High Risk Personnel, to include personal protection for periodic overseas missions and production of tailored threat/vulnerability assessments.

January 2007

PFPA assumes security of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces in Washington D.C.

October 2006

PFPA assumes force protection and criminal investigation responsibilities for the Raven Rock Mountain Complex (RRMC) and protection of the Air Force Memorial.

May 01 2006

Steven E. Calvery is appointed as the second director of PFPA.

March 14 2005

PFPA assumes responsibility for all Pentagon mail screening following suspected Anthrax incident at the Pentagon and Skyline Towers.

January 11 2005

Pentagon Police Officer James M. Feltis, III critically injured trying to stop a car-jacked vehicle that entered the Pentagon South Parking Lot.

January 10 2005

On-site Environmental Sampling Laboratory established. Laboratory tests various bio/chem. samples from dry filter units in and around the Pentagon, as well as filter samples from the mail that is collected and screened every day at the Pentagon.

July 11 2004

John Jester is appointed as the first director of PFPA.

May 17 2004

Operation Noble Eagle demobilizes, following the gradual replacement of military police officers by newly hired PFPA police officers.

April 19 2004

Richard Keevill is appointed as the first PFPA Chief of Police.

May 03 2002

PFPA is formally established under DoD Directive 5105.68 to address the “full spectrum of threats”. John Jester, then Chief of DPS, is appointed as the Acting Director of PFPA. All personnel and resources from DPS are transferred to PFPA.

October 2001

Letters laced with anthrax began appearing in the U.S. mail. Five Americans were killed and 17 were sickened in what became the worst biological attacks in U.S. history. Specifically, letters were mailed to Senator Leahy, Senator Daschle, Tom Brokaw, and the Editor of the New York Post. This prompted federal agencies to establish mail screening facilities across the country.

September 12 2001

A day after the attack on the Pentagon, security was ramped up as DPS police officers were augmented by military police officers, designated "Operation Noble Eagle."

September 11 2001

American Airlines Flight #77 is flown into the Pentagon by terrorists at 9:38 a.m., killing 184 individuals (59 passengers and 125 Pentagon employees). At the time, the Defense Protective Service (DPS) consisted of about 350 employees (250 police officers). 18 DPS employees were awarded the OSD Medal for Valor award for their role in rescuing victims of the attack.