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Protecting the flightline and its resources

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Benjamin Gonsier
  • 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Security forces personnel are posted throughout Air Force base's to ensure the safety and well being of all personnel, their families and base assets 24/7.

Airmen from the 2nd Security Forces Squadron here are also vigilant in patrolling and monitoring the flightline, ensuring the restricted area is secure at all times.

"Our patrols on the flightline need to protect our resources," said Master Sgt. Andre McBride, 2 SFS flight chief. "If we don't have anyone out to monitor and look over our resources, anyone could come out here."

The flightline is patrolled by two internal security response teams, who cover specific portions of the restricted area. There is also an external team that patrols within minutes of the other teams in case backup is needed.

"Our primary responsibilities are to make sure no aircraft are being tampered with, and to have a presence in the area," said Senior Airman Gribble Fairbanks, 2 SFS patrolman.
The patrols do this by conducting random anti-terrorist measures throughout their patrols, he added. During the RAMs, the patrols check the entry control points and are vigilant when watching over the Airmen on the flightline. Some of the items they check for are restricted area badges, common access cards and flightline driver licenses.

"Patrols make sure everyone is in compliance with the rules and regulations of the flightline by ensuring personnel have a restricted area badge and are in the right area," said Staff Sgt. Vernard Warner, 2 SFS base defense operations center controller.

Everyone is required to wear a restricted area badge when on the flightline, unless they are working in an area where they don't have to, Warner said. Some areas are designated as free zones, which usually have contractors doing construction, and allow non-base personnel to work.

'Breaking red' is an automatic security violation. 'Breaking red' refers to an incident where an individual crosses a redline, which is placed on the flightline to show base personnel and contractors where not cross.

When an individual fails to follow one of these procedures, security forces apprehends them, Warner added. They are read their rights on-scene.

"We get them out of the area immediately and turn them away from the restricted area and the resources," he said. "We bring the individual to the patrolman's office for further booking procedures."

The individual is charged with a Uniform Code of Military Justice Article 92, Failure to Obey Order or Regulation, Warner said. Their rights are read again, and they complete the necessary paperwork.

"If my patrols are not the ones to catch an individual, maintenance Airmen normally have control," he said. "Maintenance personnel might witness someone breaking red, so they contact the MOC (Maintenance Operations Center) and advise them of the situation. MOC informs me about the incident, and I will dispatch a patrol to the area where assistance is needed."

Without security forces out there, the mission wouldn't go on, McBride said. By keeping individuals who do not have restricted area access away from the maintainers and aircrew, these Airmen can concentrate on getting planes in the air.

"Our presence means a lot to the maintainers, aircrew, wing commander and group commanders," McBride said. "The aircrew knows their maintainers can work on the aircraft without worrying about someone else who shouldn't be out there."