NOTE: We have updated the Security and Policy Review Worksheet as of 10 November 2020. This addresses an issue where the organizational email address in Block 3 could not be added after digital signatures were applied. Please use this new version for future submissions. It can be downloaded by clicking here
What is Security and Policy Review?
Security and policy review ensures that Air Force information is released in a timely manner, without divulging classified or sensitive technical or operational information. 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. This fact sheet details the process to submit information for security and policy review to the AFRL Public Affairs Office. The objective of the Security and Policy Review process is to ensure the maximum clearance of information in minimum time.
Purpose of Security and Policy Review
The purpose of the security review is to protect classified information, controlled unclassified sensitive information, or unclassified information that may individually or in aggregate lead to an unauthorized disclosure which can adversely impact national and operational security. The purpose of the policy review is to ensure no conflict exists with established Air Force, DoD, or other U.S. Government agency policies.
What Needs to be Submitted
Material proposed for public release that mentions the Air Force Research Laboratory, United States Space Force, Air Force, Department of Defense, or any other government agency's plans, policies, programs, operations, budget, personnel or activities needs to be cleared through Security and Policy Review. If your material does not mention or discuss any of these issues, or foreign policy/military operations, it probably doesn't require coordination.
Presentation charts, briefing slides, photos, videos, speeches, abstracts, manuscripts, technical papers, dissertations, theses, journal articles and news releases are examples of material normally submitted. If there is uncertainty on whether to submit, contact Public Affairs.
Only submit material proposed to be released to a public forum. Material intended to be shared exclusively with AF, DoD and defense contractors involved in the program normally does not require Security and Policy Review.
Do NOT submit contractual documents or other material intended for posting to the DoD government contracting website (beta.sam.gov) website in support of the DoD acquisition mission. Although these materials should be reviewed by unit Operational Security Managers and Foreign Disclosure personnel to verify they do not contain critical information before they are posted, Air Force policy precludes sending them through the Security and Policy Review process.
Submission Procedures - DoD/USAF 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 AF Instruction 35-102 (4 May 16), Security and Policy Review Program. Submitters must review the entire instruction 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 or commander with justification as to why the materials require rush processing. A fillable template can be downloaded from our web site here. AFRL/PA will attempt to meet the short-notice request, but cannot guarantee completion depending on current caseload in the system.
The AFRL 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 AFRK 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 AFRL Security and Policy Review Worksheet and the document to be reviewed to AFRL/PA through your organizational POC. If you are unsure of your organizational process, contact your security manager.
DO NOT SEND MATERIAL VIA EMAIL. Organizations must submit electronically via the AFRL Security and Policy Review SharePoint site. This is a closed site accessible only to Air Force members with DoD Common Access Cards.
NOTE: Preferred format for most documents submitted for review is Adobe PDF. Please use the standardized filename protocol:
1225 - document name - 1-2
1225 - document name - 2-2
The first for digits represent the month/day for which are requesting PA completion of your case. Failure to follow filename protocols to associate the AFRL 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.
Requests for public release of software must include a statement that fully addresses: Description, function and use of the software; potential end-users; programming language, operating system, network architecture or other features relevant; DoD program, system or product the software is related to. Do not send the software with the request. Air Force Information Protection officials may request the software code itself to be submitted in separate correspondence.
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 AFRL Security and Policy Review Worksheet and submit to Public Affairs via SharePoint as described above.
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.
Rush cases requiring review in less than 15 working days must be accompanied by a letter of justification
from the appropriate directorate commander or director.
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.
The submitter listed on the AFRL 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
AFRL/PA reviews over 6,000 cases annually. Please do not contact Public Affairs to request status on a submitted case until the minimum coordination time has passed (see Submission Deadlines). We regret any inconvenience this may cause and sincerely appreciate your cooperation, as these requests delay processing for all cases in coordination.