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Security and Policy Review


While adhering to the policy of “maximum disclosure, minimum delay,” PA ensures information intended for public release neither adversely affects national security nor threatens the safety, security, or privacy of Department of the Air Force personnel. Information is not withheld from release merely to protect the Department of the Air Force from criticism or embarrassment. It also ensures that information is technically accurate, non-proprietary, free of information about critical military technology and conforms to Department of Defense and military service policies.

Purpose of Security and Policy Review

Security and policy review represents an ongoing effort to inform and increase public understanding of the mission, operations, and programs of the Department of the Air Force. The purpose of the security review is to protect classified information, controlled unclassified sensitive information, unclassified information that may individually, or in aggregate, lead to an unauthorized disclosure, or controlled unclassified information that could adversely impact national and operational security. The purpose of policy review is to ensure no conflict exists with established Department of the Air Force, DoD, or other U.S. government agency policies.

Material that Requires Submission 

DoDI 5230.09, Clearance of DoD Information for Public Release, requires that information proposed for public release relating to the plans, policies, programs, or operations of DoD or U.S. government be sent through PA channels to the appropriate echelon for review. Whether information is prepared as an official release or a personal enterprise, it must be reviewed and cleared before release. Originators must ensure disclaimers accompany all documents they authorize in a private capacity. An appropriate disclaimer is: “The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Air Force, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.”

Contractors. Contractors must submit material proposed for public release for review according to valid contract requirements as specified in DD Form 254, Department of Defense Contract Security Classification Specification, DoD 5220.22-R, and DoD 5220.22- M, National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual. (T-0).

Academic Public Release Policy. DoD gives its personnel assigned in an academic environment the widest latitude to express personal views. To ensure a climate of academic freedom and to encourage intellectual expression, students and faculty members assigned or attached to a military academy, college, university, or DoD leadership school are not required to submit papers or material prepared for internal use in response to academic requirements. If the papers or material are intended for public release, to include public library availability, databases, and websites, they must be submitted for security and policy review. (T-1).

Submission of Material 

For planning purposes, submitters should normally allow a minimum of 10 work days for security and policy review. The 10-day clock begins when the receiving approval authority receives all required documents. Some complex documents, dissertations, manuscripts, theses, videos, etc., may require HHQ review, including SAF/PA, DOPSR, and other federal agencies, and can take an additional 45-60 days to process. Work days required does not include the date of submission. For guidelines on how to submit material for security and policy review, see AFMAN 35-101, Chapter 8, Security and Policy Review Process.

S&PR Process

Submission Procedures - DoD/DAF Authors:
This is an electronic process for submitting material for review. Government submitters must have Common Access Card access to the Air Force network.  

Submission procedures are detailed in DAF Instruction 35-101, Chapter 9Security and Policy Review Program. Submitters must review the entire chapter to ensure compliance.  Selected excerpts are summarized in this fact sheet, however all submitters are responsible for ensuring compliance with the instruction.

Submissions that require rush processing (less than 15 working days) must be accompanied by a memorandum signed by the directorate level director/commander or deputy with justification as to why the materials require rush processing. SBD 1/PA will attempt to meet the short-notice request, but cannot guarantee completion depending on current caseload in the system.

The AFIMSC Security and Policy Review Worksheet is the prescribed form. This electronic worksheet allows for digital signatures, and is in compliance with AFIMSC guidance and format for cases requiring higher level review.  Detailed instructions for completion are on page two of the form. 

Coordinate the material you want cleared for public release through your organization using the AFIMSC Security and Policy Review Worksheet.  Obtain the minimum three required electronic signatures by appropriate subject matter experts - U.S. Government (not contractor) personnel. 

Submitters are responsible for ensuring appropriate coordination with other program offices, commands or agencies which have equity in the release decision. This coordination should normally be accomplished before submission to Public Affairs and clearly annotated on the AFIMSC Security and Policy Review Worksheet. If coordination by other major commands, higher headquarters, or other U.S. Government agencies is required and has not been accomplished, please clearly annotate this on the AFIMSC Worksheet.

Submit the completed Security and Policy Review Worksheet and the document to be reviewed to SBD 1/PA through your organizational POC.  If you are unsure of your organizational process, contact your security manager. 

Organizations must submit electronically via the to  This is a site accessible only to members with DoD Common Access Cards. 

NOTE: Preferred format for most documents submitted for review is Adobe PDF. Please use the standardized filename protocol:
060123 - document name - 1-2 
060123 - document name - 2-2

The first six digits represent the month/day/year for which are requesting PA completion of your case.  Failure to follow filename protocols to associate the Security and Policy Review Worksheet and the submitted document(s) may delay processing!
If briefing charts contain notes pages ensure these are visible in the submitted electronic version of document.

Submit final copies only. Do not submit interim drafts or documents with blanks. These will be returned without action.

Submission Procedures - Defense Contractors/Contractor Authors:
Defense contracts frequently stipulate information must be reviewed by U.S. Government program office and Public Affairs prior to public release by the contractor. In all cases, the contractor must certify all material submitted for review meets criteria for public release and does not contain classified, sensitive or proprietary information.

Contractors must submit material proposed for public release for review according to valid contract requirements as specified in Defense Department (DD) Form 254, Department of Defense Contract Security Classification Specification, DoDM 5220.22, Vol 2, National Industrial Security Program: Industrial Security Procedures for Government Activities. Most materials must be sent via conventional or express mail or hand carried. The only items permissible to be emailed, via secure transmission, are proposed contractor news releases and publicity materials. Contractor representatives may send these via approved secure communications systems or systems utilizing other protective measures such as Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) or transport layer security (e.g., https) IAW the contract. 

Public Affairs will NOT accept or review materials submitted directly by defense contractors. The contracting activity/program office will ensure necessary coordination of contractor information with Public Affairs.

Upon receipt of contractor requests, the appropriate Air Force program office subject matter expert will, in coordination with technical, OPSEC, Security Manager, Foreign Disclosure, STINFO Officer and other directorate subject matter expert reviewers, complete the AFIMSC Security and Policy Review Worksheet and submit to Public Affairs via the DoD Safe as described above.

Submission Deadlines
If your material requires only local clearance, please allow at least 15 working days (not including the day of submission) for review. Exceptions are granted only in rare circumstances.

Please note complex documents, manuscripts, dissertations and theses may take up to 45 days for review by Pentagon or other federal agencies with an equity in the decision to release. The clock does not start until the material reaches Public Affairs.

Public Affairs will not clear information "after-the-fact" - materials which have already been presented/distributed or for which the submission or use deadline(s) have already passed.

Clearance Notifications
The submitter listed on the Security and Policy Review Worksheet will receive an e-mail notification on disposition of the case as soon as all proper coordination has been accomplished. It is the submitter's responsibility to further notify all interested parties of the release decision.

The most frequent security and policy review determinations are:

  • Cleared for Release
  • Cleared with Recommendation
  • Cleared as Amended
  • Objection Not Cleared
  • AF No Objection (additional coordination required by other non-AF agencies)
  • AF No Equity