Local news reporters embed with 92nd SFS for a day
By Senior Airman Ryan Lackey, 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
/ Published November 01, 2019
FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. --
Team Fairchild invited local news agencies to team up with the 92nd Security Forces Squadron for a Year of the Defender Media Day event at Fairchild Air Force Base, Oct. 29, 2019.
Six local reporters spent the day with security forces and got a firsthand taste of several responsibilities these Airmen rarely display to the public.
“It’s important that we instill confidence in the base and local community that we’re protecting the mission,” said Chief Master Sgt. Thomas Henzl, 92nd SFS security forces manager. “Gen. Goldfein started the Reconstitute Defender Initiative to help ensure that the Air Force reinvests and revitalizes our squadrons … and today we are glad to be able to show the public a bit of what we do and why it’s important we keep our Airmen fit-to-fight.”
To illustrate the changes the RDI directive is driving, reporters were shown the squadron’s armory, shooting range, shoot house training grounds and military working dogs to help paint a picture of the entire Defender mission and the updates that would improve its effectiveness.
“Our bosses thought it was important that we take the time and effort to refocus and reenergize security squadrons,” said Senior Master Sgt. Joseph Anderson, 92nd SFS operations superintendent. “How do we translate this directive to our young Airmen? We had to look at the Airmen who do this job as people that have needs, needs we have to address to have a healthy squadron, and that is what we are working on.”
Media members took part in realistic training scenarios, such as a show of force traffic stop, putting them in the shoes of a Defender that makes a split-second decision on whether or not to use potentially lethal force. While keeping calm in a tense situation is already difficult, security forces Airmen allowed the guests to try operating in chemical protective gear to demonstrate an additional layer of difficulty that Airmen often train in in preparation for any situation.
“This is a unique job in the Air Force and we ask a lot of our people,” Anderson said. “It’s a stressful job and we’re doing things like moving from 12 hour shifts to eight hour shifts to give more time back to the families, updating our equipment, training and facilities to improve readiness and involving ourselves in the community more.”
The last stop was a military working dog experience, where four MWDs exemplified the effectiveness of countless hours of training they receive that translates to the solid bond shared between Defender and dog.
“We work hand-in-hand with local law enforcement and the community,” said Staff Sgt. Gregory Guldner, 92nd SFS police service NCOIC. “One of the biggest ways we help out is [by] providing our MWDs, as they have different skill sets, to the local police and it helps to maintain our good rapport with them.”
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein started the RDI in 2018, starting in 2019 with Year of the Defender, as a bid to revitalize the U.S. Air Force’s largest career field of more than 38,000 security forces Airmen. RDI consists of eight improvement goals: human capital, modern weapons, improved policy, modern equipment, integrate technology, competent and lethal Defenders, improved facilities and improved infrastructure … yet it all starts with the people in uniform.
“We are invested in our human capital, so we are ready to do the mission,” Henzl said. “We want people to sleep well at night knowing we are protecting them.”
No amount of arsenal can effectively support a worldwide mission without Airmen that are fit-to-fight and stand ready to do whatever it takes to accomplish that goal. YotD is one more step to investing in the Air Force’s greatest weapon, its highly trained and capable Airmen.