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Deployed security forces take on military police mission

by Staff Sgt. Troy Simchak
732nd Expeditionary Mission Support Group Det. 1

5/6/2005 - MOSUL, Iraq (AFPN) -- Because of a shortage of Air Force security forces in recent years, the Army has helped out by providing Soldiers at bases worldwide.

The 732nd Expeditionary Mission Support Group’s Detachment 1, an Air Force detachment from Balad Air Base, Iraq, is repaying the security debt by filling the role of Army police at an Army installation here.

“This unit has run into things most security forces members don’t experience at an Air Force base for years,” said Staff Sgt. Geoffrey Brooks, a detachment patrolman deployed from Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England. “We … have handled cases involving alcohol use, weapons, sexual assault, pornography, larceny and trafficking drugs.”

Before arriving here, the 48-person team received training in Balad on Army security. After arriving, they formed the detachment, and military policemen provided additional training on Army communications equipment, police forms and reports, and other aspects of the Army mission.

“We wanted to blend right in to their way of doing things so there were no communication breakdowns and to make sure we had continuity,” said 1st Lt. Michael Small, a detachment operations officer deployed from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. “The Army was outstanding at getting us spun up on what we needed to know in order to run the mission effectively.”

The detachment also has a customs mission to ensure servicemembers redeploying do not leave with prohibited items. They enforce military customs laws, U.S. customs laws and regulations, and U.S. agricultural guidelines.

“The mission we’re doing is far from what most security forces members are used to performing in a deployed environment,” said Tech. Sgt. Wayne Moses, a detachment flight chief from Vandenberg.

“Usually we deploy and take up a base defense role, but not here,” Sergeant Moses said. “The Army has the (parameter) covered …, while we have inside the wire working with Army force protection and the law enforcement side. It’s very strange to take up just the law and order portion.”

Working with force protection Soldiers and Navy military working dog teams, the detachment’s Airmen recently conducted a contraband sweep in vendor shops on the installation. They uncovered vast quantities of unauthorized cell phones, weapons, pornographic materials and alcohol.

“Working to keep contraband items off the installations is an important part of what we do,” said Staff Sgt. Tedd Yost, noncommissioned officer in charge of detachment investigations deployed from Hanscom AFB, Mass.

The detachment is scheduled to be replaced in July, but could stay longer if needed.

“Until we’re relieved, we will remain on the job enforcing the law and keeping the order to ensure the safety of all Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines,” said Maj. Michael Gimbrone, the detachment commander deployed from Hanscom. (Courtesy of 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs)

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