First-line Sentries: defending Team Moody, assets

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kathleen D. Bryant
  • 23d Wing Public Affairs
Whether responding to an emergency on base or checking identification at the gate, a select group of Airmen work day and night to keep Team Moody safe.

The Airmen of the 23d Security Forces Squadron provide security to their home station as well as organize, train and deploy combat Airmen to sustain worldwide combat search and rescue operations.

"Most people in their jobs may carry things over to the next day, but for us, the day resets," said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Claudia Robinson, 23d SFS flight chief. "Every day there is something different that goes on. We respond to anything from a building alarm going off, because someone punched in the wrong code, to thefts at the Base Exchange."

Coupled with the unpredictability of their job, the 23d SFS protects the base by reporting or responding to any disturbances on base at any time.

"Some people find this job to be very nonchalant or see it as simple as guarding the gate," said Senior Airman Michael Uselton, 23d SFS base defense operations center controller. "But the individuals at that gate are who let good guys in and keep bad guys out. To me, law enforcement is good to have everywhere as long as your people are trained right."

The 23d SFS guarantees readiness by performing multiple flight-level exercises per shift.

"The exercises ensure everyone knows how to respond and shows what they would do in different situations," said Robinson. "The Airmen get the training they need during these exercises for when real incidents take place.

"Security forces provide a safety net to everyone," said Robinson. "We act as the base's first-line of defense and the first Airmen that [people] see when they come on base. There is always going to be an Airman at the gate. We give them a [good feeling], knowing there is always someone here providing security to the base."

The 23d SFS secures the base by employing personnel in two 12-hour shifts during a 24-hour period, every day of the week.

Before relieving the mid-shift in the morning, the day-shift retrieves their weapons from the armory and participates in a formation, known as guard mount, to make sure everyone is prepared for the day ahead.

Security Forces has multiple patrolmen during the shift who are assigned a vehicle and are responsible for monitoring the base.  They also have installation entry controllers, better known as gate guards, at each of the three gates during a normal duty day.

One responsibility of gate guards and patrolmen is to conduct Random Anti-Terrorist Measures on a daily basis.

"The gate guards have a list of what we're supposed to do during RAMs," said Senior Airman Ashley Hollis, 23d SFS patrolman. "Anytime we ask for your driver's license, registration and proof of insurance it comes from the base commander. It's random when we're told to do it and can happen once a day or every 30 minutes.

"The patrols also conduct RAMs," Hollis added. "[An example] is going off base and checking the fence around the base. I let BDOC know what I'm doing and tell them if there is anything suspicious."

Besides the patrols and gate guards, the 23d SFS also has a BDOC controller on every shift.

The BDOC controller work directly with other 23d SFS personnel as dispatchers to guarantee fluidity and organization at all times.

No matter what time of day, the 23d SFS works to constantly ensure safety and security for all Moody personnel and their families.