All secure, and then some
by Master Sgt. Stanley Coleman
379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
11/28/2005 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFPN) -- Security in Southwest Asia is no joke, but you may still get a smile from security forces Airmen when they check your ID.
Ensuring the security of coalition forces and resources is a job the 379th Expeditionary Security Forces team takes very seriously.
“We have a dedicated and enthusiastic team during this rotation,” said 1st Lt. Richard Reeder, a flight commander with the 379th ESFS. “Our force protection team is made up of active duty, Guard, Reserve and coalition forces. The experience level varies from a few months to many years.”
The 379th ESFS consists of a mix of individuals from various Air Force installations.
“As a flight sergeant I am constantly working to ensure a high morale within the team,” said Master Sgt. Drew Porter, a security flight sergeant. “That responsibility includes training and an even assignment of work opportunities, whether it's the flightline, law enforcement or emergency response.”
The 379th ESFS accomplishes its force protection mission through the concept of integrated base defense -- multiple layers of security combined to protect people and resources. From force protection units patrolling the perimeters to the use of technology assets, air base security is job one.
“External security involves host nation/joint patrols in addition to (guarding) the main gate and vehicle inspections,” said Sergeant Porter. “Internal security involves physical security, law enforcement and emergency response.”
The squadron also provides special security teams that support prisoner-of-war transport, distinguished visitor escort, secure cargo missions, as well as special events, such as concerts.
“One of the most challenging aspects of the special security function is the constant state of flexibility,” said Master Sgt. Lamount Jenkins, the NCO in charge of special security. “We’re always in a readiness state to adjust to unplanned situations. For instance, an event or assignment is canceled -- next thing you know our team is recalled to execute that assignment.”
“When it rains, it pours,” said Staff Sgt. Miguel Menchaca, a squadron security controller, whose job involves ensuring each security or law enforcement situation is met with the appropriate response.
“The rewarding aspect of my job is having everything fall into place,” he said. “That includes the emergency responders (fire department, medical, explosive ordnance disposal) as well as the security forces teams.”
"Many of our force protection team members who carry out the day-to-day assignments are young Airmen who were attracted to security forces and have an interest to pursue law enforcement and investigative-type careers," he said.
“My family instilled in me the desire to help others,” said Airman 1st Class Travis Jordan, a squadron member. “I enjoy traveling and meeting people. I’ll either continue in the security forces career field or go into civilian law enforcement upon completing my service commitment.”
"My involvement in the D.A.R.E program (Drug Abuse Resistance and Education) at my home station sparked my interest in teaching," said Senior Airman Lisa Gilley, another squadron member. “I was inspired to join the Air Force because of my interest in law enforcement. My security forces involvement that required me to speak with students in the military and civilian community led me to find that I enjoy interacting with young people. The security forces career field has given me the discipline and focus to succeed at whatever I choose to do in life.”
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