Grissom Museum Opens New Air Force Police Exhibit
Former Grissom Officer Garners Donations From Retired Security Police

Kokomo Tribune, Carson Gerber, Oct 31, 2016


Retired MSgt Chris Armold, left, and Grissom Air Museum Director Jim Price stand near a new exhibit at the museum dedicated to the Air Force security police. Armold donated all the artifacts included in the exhibit. Submitted photo.

 

 

BUNKER HILL – One of the most extensive exhibits in the country dedicated to Air Force security police has opened inside the Grissom Air Museum thanks to donations from a former airman who served at the base.

 

Retired Master Sgt. Chris Armold recently donated the complete exhibit, which features the history, uniforms and weaponry of the airmen who protected the combat aircraft and personnel assigned to Bunker Hill and Grissom Air Force Base throughout the Cold War.

 

The Air Force first developed the concept of infantry-style units to defend air bases in the 1940s. They eventually developed into ground defense units protecting the military’s nuclear weapons systems.

 

Armold said he was assigned to the security police force at Grissom in 1983, and retired as an Air Force security policeman. He also served as the vice president of the Heritage Museum Foundation, the forerunner of the Grissom Air Museum.

 

He said he came up with the idea to create a museum exhibit dedicated to Air Force security police after attending a reunion this summer for veterans of Grissom’s 305th Security Police.

 

“For me, the opportunity to create an air police and security police exhibit for a museum I was a part of 30-plus years ago was just too good to be true,” Armold said in a release.

 

Over the next few months, he garnered a horde of artifacts and items donated by former Air Force security officers from across the country, such as uniforms, equipment, patches and documents. The exhibit also includes replicas of the weapons used by security officers.

 

Tom Kelley, a museum volunteer and former security officer at Grissom who helped organize the exhibit, said the new display is part of the museum’s mission to remember every airman who served at the base.

 

“That whole museum is there to celebrate the legacy of the people who served on the base, as well as their mission,” he said. “We want everybody to understand what the base was all about and celebrate its history, and the security police are a very important part of that whole operation.”

 

Kelley said the security police exhibit is one of the most extensive collections outside the Airman Heritage Museum in San Antonio, Texas, and offers unique insights into the history of the Air Force’s security forces that can’t be found anywhere else in the area.

 

“We’re really excited about having this,” he said.

 

For Armold, who is an historian and author who has written a new book about Air Force police, the exhibit is a way to commemorate and honor the airman who served as security officers, just like he did at Grissom.

 

“I hope people who visit this exceptional museum will enjoy the display,” he said. “I'm proud to have served at Grissom Air Force Base and always enjoy returning to the area. It still feels like home to me.”

 

The Grissom Air Museum is now operating in off-season hours and is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Admission will be free to prior military personnel during the Veterans Day weekend.

 

 

All Military Dogs Go to Heaven

By Senior Airman Mariah Haddenham, 11th Wing Public Affairs, October 28, 2016


Military working dogs wait in formation during a memorial service for two dogs who recently passed away at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Oct. 28, 2016. The service honored the MWD’s accomplishments and included a 21 gun salute and the playing of Taps. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Mariah Haddenham)


Service members salute during a memorial service Oct. 28, 2016, at Joint Base Andrews, Md., for two military working dogs who recently passed away. The service honored the MWD’s accomplishments and included a 21-gun salute and the playing of Taps. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Mariah Haddenham) (Photo by Senior Airman Mariah Haddenham) 


Staff Sgt. Yessiell Perez, 11th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, stands at parade rest during a memorial service at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Oct. 28, 2016. The service honored the MWD’s accomplishments and included a 21-gun salute and the playing of Taps. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Mariah Haddenham) (Photo by Senior Airman Mariah Haddenham)


JOINT BASE ANDREWS, MD --

The atmosphere was visibly solemn as defenders from the 11th Security Forces Group stood at attention on Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, Oct. 28, to pay their respects to two decorated American heroes.

An Afghanistan veteran, and the other a vital part of JBA security, both left ‘pawsitive’ impressions on their coworkers.

“Military working dogs are a vital asset to Air Force operations and are considered essential for detection of explosives and narcotics due to their sense of smell being 20 times more powerful than a human’s,” said Staff Sgt. Derek Scrivener, 11th Security Support Squadron military working dog handler. “The dogs are highly skilled and can be used as attack dogs when necessary.”

MWD Riso was born Oct. 23, 2006, and began his career in the Air Force Dec. 7, 2007. Riso was certified for narcotics detection before starting his career at JBA. Riso worked with nine handlers over a span of 10 years, providing security and multiple positive narcotics detections, and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2011 and 2012. MWD Riso passed away Oct. 3, 2016 due to medical conditions.

His wingman, MWD Kart, was born Nov. 7, 2007 and was accepted into the Air Force in January of 2008. Kart was certified for explosive detection before starting his career at JBA, where he worked with seven handlers in seven years. MWD Kart provided security for copious amounts of high-profile events and distinguished leaders and visitors from around the world. Kart was retired from duty June 13, 2016, and was adopted by Tech Sgt. Jake Twaddle, where he enjoyed civilian life until he had to be put down Oct. 6, 2016, due to medical complications.

“It didn’t matter what we were doing, whether it was driving around base seeing the vet for a checkup or spending hours inspecting car after car at the search pit,” said Tech Sgt. Codi Carter, Pentagon military security force team leader. “No matter what, he was always happy.”

The Military Working Dog Adoption program, enacted by Congress in 2000, allowed adoption of retiring dogs to law enforcement agencies, former handlers and other persons capable of caring for the dogs. This program gives the dogs an opportunity to live life as a normal dog, and allowed Kart to live his last days to the fullest.

“Our MWD’s are truly one of a kind,” said Tech. Sgt. William Stone, 11th SSPTS MWD section kennel master. “From seeking our intruders, enforcing zero drug tolerance to protecting people and resources from explosives, these MWD’s faced the most difficult tasks with no fear. All they want is to keep their handler safe and make them happy and we are truly thankful for all they do.”

JBA Holds Body Camera Test for SFS Evidence

By 11th Wing Public Affairs, JOINT BASE ANDREWS, MD, October 26, 2016, Senior Airman Jordyn Fetter

 

Airman 1st Class Sarah Shepherd, left, and Staff Sgt. Sawyer Fox, right, 11th Security Forces Squadron response force leaders, display the wear of body cameras at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Oct. 4, 2016. JBA defenders began donning the body worn cameras Oct. 26 as part of a six-month-long Air Force-level test to determine which product to use. The cameras will be evaluated on their video quality, usefulness, and how they can be better utilized. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jordyn Fetter)

Staff Sgt. Sawyer Fox, 11th Security Forces Squadron response force leader, checks an identification card while wearing a body camera at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Oct. 4, 2016. The cameras are in the process of undergoing an Air Force-level test, which began Oct. 26, to determine their recording quality, usefulness, and how they can be better utilized. Throughout the test plan, approximately nine cameras will be worn at a time by law enforcement officers, lead gate guards, K-9 handlers, the emergency services team, and training and quality care officers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jordyn Fetter) (Photo by Senior Airman Jordyn Fetter)


A single body worn camera rests on an 11th Security Forces Squadron officer’s flak vest at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Oct. 4, 2016. These devices were implemented Oct. 26 as part of an Air Force-level test to determine which kind of camera will best suit the service’s defenders and their procedures. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jordyn Fetter) (Photo by Senior Airman Jordyn Fetter)


Staff Sgt. Sawyer Fox, right, and Airman 1st Class Sarah Shepherd, left, 11th Security Forces Squadron response force leaders, record information in a notebook during a patrol at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Oct. 4, 2016. JBA security forces defenders will be wearing the products for a period of six months as part of a test to determine which kind of camera to use throughout the Air Force. One of the main goals during the process is to disperse the new equipment information throughout the community to ensure they feel safe and aware. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jordyn Fetter) (Photo by Senior Airman Jordyn Fetter)

Members of the 11th Security Forces Squadron began using body worn cameras here Oct. 26, 2016 to further develop Air Force security forces evidence-collecting capabilities.

The implementation of the devices is part of a Headquarters Air Force dictated test plan to determine which kind of camera will best suit the service’s defenders and their processes.

“We’re looking to gain evidence,” said Staff Sgt. Samarre Perez, 11th SFS confinement NCO. “Cameras serve as secondary eyesight and footage can bring light to a situation.”

The test period will last for approximately six months here, during which, two different types of cameras will be put through rigorous training to determine their recording quality, usefulness, and how they can be better utilized.

“Test plans are common for equipment,” Perez said. “We test products to determine their pros and cons and if it’s successful, a larger plan will be made to make the purchase. It’s a less expensive solution than spending millions of dollars on a product only to find out it wasn’t necessary in the first place.”

Security forces members received training from product vendors in preparation for the wear of the equipment.

“We participated in something called ‘train the trainer’,” Perez said. “It’s when the vendor brings their own private team to train you on their camera software and equipment for a day.”

Following the initial training, the team taught military personnel how to tailor the equipment to their unit’s procedures and educate the remaining security forces members on their use.

“We learned the camera’s capabilities, specifications, and what it can and can’t handle,” said Perez. “Then, we geared up to train the rest of security forces during the second phase.”

To ensure an encompassing test of quality, approximately nine cameras will be worn at a time by law enforcement officers, lead gate guards, K-9 handlers, the emergency services team, and training and quality care officers, Perez said.

While the wear of the body cameras will not have a significant impact on the way defenders conduct their mission, a few minor changes may occur.

“We’re mostly just including the extra step of turning on the cameras before doing our law enforcement duty on-scene,” Perez said. “However, we’ve been looking into prefacing public interactions with a statement to ensure individuals know they are being recorded by cameras.”

Security forces’ goal is to disperse the new equipment information to the community as much as possible, so the public feels safe and more aware, Perez emphasized.

“It’s beneficial to have these body worn cameras because it promotes officer and community safety,” said Staff Sgt. Benjamin Castro, 11th SFS law enforcement administration NCO. “For example, if a subject is on the run and the cameras were involved during an altercation with the individual, you’ll be able to get positive identification on that subject and more easily find them.”

In addition to evidence collecting, the body cameras will be able to assist officers in training as well as provide a firsthand look at altercations in court.

“A situation can go from a simple noise complaint to a full-blown domestic assault when arriving on-scene,” said Perez. “DUIs are especially important. Someone can deny taking an intoxication test, but the footage would fully represent how unfit they were to drive.”

Ultimately, the cameras will assist with filling in the gaps in altercations when they need to be recounted for evidentiary purposes.

“In the law enforcement realm, situations can go from 0 to 100 really fast,” Perez said. “The cameras provide a ‘bird’s eye view,’ that gives us a second chance to see a scene and experience it as it happens. Recounting it for a report with only your memory as a guide is difficult, but cameras tell the totality of the story and put everything into perspective.”

1st Annual Manzano Challenge,  by Capt Roberto J. Cornier

On 22 October 2016, the 377th Security Forces Group, or 377 SFG, commanded by Col Dustin G. Sutton, hosted the 1st Annual Manzano Challenge at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. The all-star competition featured Security Forces Airmen from across the 377 SFG. 64 Defenders divided into 16 teams of 4 competed on 17 stations ranging from weapons skills, land navigation, team tactics, and problem solving.


The idea for a Kirtland Security Forces competition originated this past summer when SMSgt Eric E. Blanco, Operations Superintendent of the 377th Weapons System Security Squadron, or 377 WSSS was looking for ways to enhance the Security Forces culture and heritage among our Kirtland Defenders. “The idea of competing against other Defenders has always been very exciting to me,” said SMSgt Blanco. “Competing is part of our Culture, it’s in our DNA.”

Support for having a Security Forces competition within Kirtland AFB quickly grew among the squadrons. One of the biggest supporters, Lt Col James K. Meier, Commander of the 377 WSSS, swiftly drafted members of the 377 SFG leadership team to compete in the Manzano Challenge. “I remember competing in Defender Challenge as a young Captain, testing myself and my limits together with my team,” said Lt Col Meier. “It’s hard work, but it pays off.”


“We designed the Manzano Challenge to enhance team readiness, teamwork, unit pride, esprit-de-corps, and a competitive spirit among our Defenders,” said Col Sutton. “This is a benefit to our Defenders because they are able to tests their limits against a mentally and physically demanding environment.”

The last station, Team Punisher, collided teams against each other on a grueling 15 minute challenge requiring teams to carry a 300 pound log to a mud pit filled with water. At the mud pit, teams had to complete 5 repetitions of fire team push-ups before returning the log to the starting position. Each repetition alternated the use of the log with body carries to the mud pit.


With 62 competitors, the Manzano Challenge required over 70 volunteers and coordination with 21 base agencies, making the course safe for all participants. At the finish line, teams were welcomed to free food and drinks after completing over 8 hours of intense challenges and traveling nearly 10 miles since the start of the competition.

“This was extremely challenging for the team” said SSgt Antonio A. Pacheco, Team 14 Team Leader. “The course exploited our weaknesses as well as our strengths. There is no better way to build teamwork than this – it’s a challenge.”


The winners of the 1st Annual Manzano Challenge were: Top Fire Team and Team
Punisher Champions: SSgt Jorge Lopez, SrA Eddie Castro, and SrA Cody Taboada; Top Fire Team Leader: SrA James Ogg; and Top Fire Team Member: SrA Cody Taboada.

By Airman 1st Class Dennis Hoffman, 21st Space Wing Public Affairs / Published August 31, 2016

Lt. Col. Nicole Roberts, the 21st Security Forces Squadron commander, relies on a personable leadership style to effectively lead her 214 Airmen at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Roberts is affectionately known as “mama bear” around her squadron based on her reputation of always taking care of and protecting her troops. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Dennis Hoffman)

 

 

Lt. Col. Nicole Roberts, the 21st Security Forces Squadron commander, relies on a personable leadership style to effectively lead her 214 Airmen at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Roberts is affectionately known as “mama bear” around her squadron based on her reputation of always taking care of and protecting her troops. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Dennis Hoffman)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AFNS) -- (This feature is part of the "Through Airmen's Eyes" series. These stories focus on individual Airmen, highlighting their Air Force story.)

Leadership is not an innate quality and there is no true recipe for success in regards to it. Leadership takes on many forms. Leadership has no preferred race, religion, ethnicity nor gender.

Blind to any categorization, Lt. Col. Nicole Roberts, the 21st Security Forces Squadron commander, accelerated through the enlisted and officer ranks while relying on a personable leadership style she still uses to effectively lead her 214 Airmen on Peterson Air Force Base.

“I have been in the service for 26 years with 11 being in the Army,” Roberts said. “I began as enlisted Army military police and then became a drill sergeant. Once I reached sergeant first class, I was selected for Officer Candidate School where I became an Army military police officer.”

Opportunities arose in Roberts’ career to progress both herself and her leadership and she took full advantage of them. She learned from her enlisted experience and her fellow brothers and sisters in arms and stored that knowledge knowing it would be beneficial to have as an officer, Roberts said.

Following a couple years of soaking up the experience as an officer, Roberts met her future husband. He was in the Air Force and she had heard great things of the Air Force so she decided to transfer between the two services.

“I did what is known as an interservice transfer,” Roberts said. “There was no break in service; one day I was in the Army and the next day I was in the Air Force. It took me awhile to handle the learning curve, but I have been lucky enough and blessed enough that in my entire experience in the Air Force. I have had some great leaders.”

Looking back, Roberts said transitioning to the Air Force was incredibly beneficial to her. She gained valuable mentorship and her leadership style, though already developed, became more refined.

“There is no magic to it,” Roberts said. “Being enlisted for a very long time, I have learned to put my Airmen first. I feel personally responsible for their welfare, safety and training. Their loved ones entrust with me their safety and I really take that to heart. My Airmen are my heartbeat, so I believe that if you love and care for your people, the mission will take care of itself.”

Roberts said that on her bad days, she heads to the gates to stand with, talk and check on her Airmen. She gets a revitalized sense of her duties and her responsibilities when she sees her defenders working long hours in the heat and cold with smiles on their faces.

“She really makes it a point to let you know she is there for you,” said Staff Sgt. Christopher Anderson, a member of the 21st SFS. “She is one of the most supportive leaders I have experienced in my six years of being in the Air Force. I have been at the gate and she will come up to me and take my scanner from me and make sure I am doing well. She is a mother figure to all of us in the squadron and we never want to do anything to disappoint her.”

It is with that style, Roberts led the 21st SFS to multiple awards in the Air Force Space Command medium-sized SFS category. Although she accepts the award, she is quick to give credit to her Airmen and her senior NCOs for leading the way. She said the success of the squadron is directly due to how well she and her team have worked together.

With her teams and her career field being predominantly male, Roberts’ leadership style has never succumbed to any negative criticism because of her gender.

“I have been in a male-dominated career field for so long that I overlook a lot of things in that regarding my gender,” Roberts said. “In all honesty, I think the only time my gender really defines me is that my troops call me ‘mama bear’ because my troops know that if anyone messes with them, I’ll break out the claws and have their back.”

Leaving nothing to excuses, Roberts said she embraces herself and her gender but believes that when she dons her sage-green Airman battle uniform, she is like any other Airman and fights the same fight.

“As a female, I have seen other females who are pilots, cops and firemen – I have seen some phenomenal females in action,” she said. “I have always believed that if you work hard and take care of your people, you will get every opportunity that you are supposed to get and the Air Force has done a great job at leveling the playing field for everyone. Ever since I’ve been blue, I’ve been blessed.”

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