Silent Sentinels: Gate Guards, Our First Line of Defense

By A1C Breanna Carter, 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs, 4 May 2017

 

Airman 1st Class Ramon Cruz, 90th Security Forces Squadron installation entry controller, makes a phone call at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., May 1, 2017. The gate guards have frequent contact with the law enforcement desk, which provides them with information and help to further defend the base. (U.S. Air Force photo by A1Cl Breanna Carter)

 

Airman 1st Class Zarquis Butler, 90th Security Forces Squadron installation entry controller, salutes an officer at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., May 1, 2017. Defenders must render proper customs and courtesies while on shift. Defenders at the gate are the first line of defense for the installation. (U.S. Air Force photo by A1C Breanna Carter)

F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, WY  

I wake up every morning, get ready and drive to the base for work. This is my every day routine and once I arrive to the base, I patiently wait in line to hand my ID to the gate guard. I then drive through without a second thought about the daily challenges these men and women have to overcome.

I recently had the opportunity to step back from my daily practices and see first-hand the routine of our defenders at the gate. It begins early in the morning, before the sun has begun to rise, at guard mount. This is pretty much a formation where defenders check their equipment, conduct roll call and receive their duty assignments. 

After that, they’re ready to relieve those at the gate and begin their long shift.

“We’re on duty for at least 12 hours and we’re posted here about three times a week,” said Airman 1st Class Zarquis Butler, 90th Security Forces Squadron installation entry controller.

There are many challenges our defenders face at the gate, and if you’ve been at F.E. Warren long enough, then you know one of those challenges is weather. After about 45 minutes of standing at the gate my fingers were already numb and the wind in my face was intolerable, but our defenders were unbothered and set on maintaining their bearing and staying alert.

“The weather can be tough to deal with and the traffic gets backed up past the highway, but we try to keep a positive attitude,” Butler said. “We’re the first line of defense to the base and the first face that people see before entering, so knowing the importance of what we do is good motivation.”

One thing I quickly noticed is that people can be very upset about the time it takes to get through the gate.

“Sometimes people get mad at us because they feel we’re taking too long, but I have to remain calm and continue to go through my procedures,” Butler said. “I check IDs against a list of people that aren’t allowed on base or shouldn’t be driving. There are also times where we have to perform random vehicle inspections. It’s important that I don’t get distracted by those that are upset because my priority is the safety of this installation and its personnel.”

Though there are challenges, there are also good days according to Airman 1st Class Ramon Cruz, 90th SFS installation entry controller. It doesn’t take much to make their day.

“I’m a people person so I love being out here,” Cruz said. “There have been times where the command chief came out to help us and it makes you feel good to know leadership cares. There’s also times where people will drop off donuts, bagels, pizza and sometimes hot chocolate when it’s cold outside,” Cruz said. “It feels good to know people think about us.”

So there you have it. When you get used to driving through the gate, it’s easy to see our defenders simply as a checkpoint before getting to your destination, but try to keep in mind how essential they are to the mission and defending this base day in and day out.

 

BGen (ret) William R. Brooksher, 1930-2017

 

It is with sad hearts that we announce the passing of BGen William R. (Bill) Brooksher. BGen Brooksher served as the Chief of Security Police and Commander of the Air Force Office of Security Police from 1978 to 1981. Prior to that he was Director of Security and Law Enforcement for Strategic Air Command. He began his service in 1950 as an enlisted clerk typist. He received his commission through Officer Candidate School in 1956. After a short time in the personnel career field he entered the missile force as a Titan ICBM crew commander and continued through the ranks to colonel. He commanded Minuteman missile wings at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, and Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, before his assignment as the SAC/CSP. He was the driver behind the writing of the Security Forces Prayer which can be found on the Air Force Security Forces Association web site with this link. https://www.afsfaonline.com/index.php/about-us/history/33-history/41-security-forces-prayer

Bill was the first president of the Air Force Security Police Association. A Founding and Life Member, he played a significant role in shaping the Association. He and his lovely wife, Avil, regularly attended our annual meetings. His leadership made a permanent mark on our Association. 

Bill continued throughout his life to be a supporter and encourager. His contributions to the career field and positive impact on all who knew him are his legacy.

Family only services are planned.

445 SFS Airman Honors Fellow SF Airmen With Memorial

By Stacy Vaughn, 445th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

 

A special memorial honoring the fallen men and women serving in security forces across the Air Force is proudly displayed in the 445th Security Forces Squadron. It was built by a 445th SFS Airmen as his away to pay tribute and to recognize the sacrifices of the 14 fallen heroes.

Staff Sgt. Dustin Ellison, 445th Security Forces Squadron SF craftsman, started working on the memorial March 2017. The display features the faces, names and dates the Airmen made the ultimate sacrifice. Words above the faces say, “Honoring those security forces members who have made the ultimate sacrifice in combat for their country.” Three lights above shine down, highlighting the images. In front of the display board is a pair of combat boots sitting with a rifle mounted in between and a security forces beret on top. Both an American and an Air Force flag sit on each side of the memorial.

“Many don’t understand, or realize the sacrifices that the men and women of the United States Air Force Security Forces actually make. It’s an understanding that few know and to have a memorial of the Defenders that have made that ultimate sacrifice, gives other members a visual remembrance of those sacrifices,” Ellison said.

Ellison said the memorial not only recognizes the current Defenders and the sacrifices that are made on a routine basis, but will also give new Defenders a better understanding of the sacrifices that other members of the security forces family have made.

One of the faces on the memorial is of Staff Sgt. Todd "TJ" Labraico, an Airman deployed to Afghanistan at the same time Ellison was serving there as a desk sergeant.

“I was in charge of dispatching the posts and patrols within my sector, as well as monitoring any suspicious activity. Although he was on a Reaper team and went outside the wire, I would hear the Reaper teams calling in over the radio for pre-authorizations to exit and enter through our vehicle entry control point. I didn’t personally know him, but when someone who you’re deployed with gives the ultimate sacrifice like TJ did, it feels as if you had a special brotherly bond just being in the same career field. It was a tough loss. Godspeed to his family for his sacrifice.”  

Ellison has served in the military 11 years. Both of his grandfathers served, and he felt it was in his blood to serve, especially to serve as a Defender. He remarked that he couldn’t see himself in any other career field other than security forces.

“I’m honored to be a Defender, and it’s an honor to have a memorial like the one that stands at the 445th Security Forces Squadron. It’s a sacred piece, and I'm proud to have put this memorial together. I can only hope that we won’t have to add more to this short list of heroes.”

National Police Week is May 14-20, 2017. It’s an opportunity to pay special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others.

“On Your Side, Fighting For You.”

To recognize the sacrifices veterans have made for our country, the law firm of David Resnick & Associates is awarding cash grants to men and women who have served in the U.S. armed forces.

“On Your Side, Fighting For You.”

That’s the motto at David Resnick & Associates. It also applies to veterans. While our firm fights for injured victims in the courtroom and at the negotiating table, veterans were on our country’s side, fighting to protect all of us. We believe it’s time to honor deserving vets.

David Resnick & Associates is holding an essay competition that will determine the winners of $4,000 in total cash awards. Check out the details below to find out more about the competition and how to enter.

Nominate a veteran within our legion, or nominate yourself for a cash grant. David Resnick and Associates is now opening up applications for the first "Honoring Veterans For Their Service" cash grant competition. Applicants are required to submit a 600-word essay that discusses why the nominated veteran (a peer of yourself) is deserving of the award amount.

Three winners will take home cash prizes- first place will receive $2,500, second place $1,000 followed by a third place price of $500. All applications must be received by July 1st via email submission to the address listed on the contest page:   https://www.injuryclaimnyclaw.com/veterans-grant-contest/

AFSFA Publishes Security Forces History Book Volume III

Watch our YouTube  video -- https://youtu.be/fBVK_wjP2XY

 

Dear Air Police, Security Police, & Security Forces Members:

Due to the continued interest in the Air Force Security Forces history, the Air Force Security Forces Association and M.T.Publishing Company have joined forces to publish a third edition history book for 2017. This third edition will make a perfect companion book for the first two and will contain additional history about the Air Force Security Forces with a section for your stories while serving, as well as a chapter for your personal biography. If your biography was in one of the other editions and you would like it to be in this one, it will be necessary for you to resubmit it along with two photos if possible - one while in the service and a current photo. You may use the same photos that were in the previous editions.

Your experience stories are encouraged for this third edition. These can be provided to the publisher free by simply writing an interesting story while serving as a AP, SP, or SF member in 500 words or less. You may also provide photos to go along with your article. All stories will be reviewed for content, possibly edited and published based on pages available for this chapter.

The volume will be:

• 9˝ x 12˝ Hardbound

• Min. 112 pages

• $84.00 (Leather Edition)

• $52.50 (Standard Edition)

Submitting Your Biography for the Volume III History Book ... by mail or electronically

Write your personal biography in 150 words or less, indicating your name, rank, place and date of birth, when inducted into the service, years served, duties, action while in the service, when discharged, awards/medals received, interesting stories as they relate to the Air Force Security Forces, family data, and what you are doing today. If you stay within the 150-word limit, it will cost nothing to participate. The cost for each word over the 150 limit is 15 cents. If your biography is over the limit, please remit a check for the extra words. Send your biography with two photos, if possible – one when you were in the service and a current photo. Do not send photocopies in place of photos, because they cannot be reproduced for use in the book. Biographies may be submitted without photographs. Please type your bio (double-spaced) on plain white paper or submit electronically in a text document. Do not embed photos into the text. Please send those separately. To ensure that all material is returned after publication, write your name, address and phone number on the back of all material submitted. Please send biographies and photos to M.T. Publishing Company, Inc., P.O. Box6802, Evansville, IN 47719-6802.

You may also submit your biography on-line at www.mtpublishing.com   Any digital photos must be scanned at 300 dpi for submission. Low resolution photos cannot be used for the book. If you have questions about scanning or submitting digital files, please contact our publisher at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling 1-888-263-4702. In submitting photos, please include a caption on the back of the photo with the date and an explanation of who or what is depicted.  A book order is not required to submit material for possible inclusion in the publication.

To submit your biography and photos on-line at www.mtpublishing.com just scroll to the bottom of the web site page and click on the “Submit A Biography” link. Enter your personal contact information and you can cut and paste your biography into the box and upload photos already on your computer. The first 150 words for your biography are free, every word after that is 15 cents. Once you are done hit the “Submit” button and you are done. You will need to use Chrome or Firefox as your browser. If you use Internet Explorer then simply send you bio and scanned photos by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Submission and preorder deadline is 31 May 2017! See your latest AFSFA Security Forces Magazine for the order form.

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Tet Rememberance Ceremony
50th Anniversary of the Tet Offensive
30-31 January 2018
Lackland AFB TX
SF Academy is the host
Points of Contact:
Catherine Jeffryes
     (210) 671-2184
MSgt J Saunders
     (210) 671-5133

31st National Meeting
24-27 Aug 2017
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32nd National Meeting
Sacramento, CA
22-25 Aug 2018
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Fall 2018

33rd National Meeting
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Fall 2019