Security Forces: Whiteman's sword and shield
By Airman 1st Class Keenan Berry, 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
/ Published October 31, 2014
WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. --
While Airmen and their families sleep soundly, patrolmen from the 509th Security Forces Squadron stand watch around the clock, making sure Whiteman's greatest assets, such as the people and the B-2 Spirit, are safe.
Armed and ready, these steadfast warriors aim to ensure every inch of the base perimeter is protected from those who might harm it. They are both Whiteman's frontline defense and well-trained offense.
Security Forces Airmen patrol the streets, control base entry points and respond to any alert situations around the base at any given time.
"I monitor all the alarms on the installation and dispatch patrols to any incident that requires our presence, such as medical emergencies and domestic disturbances," said Staff Sgt. Delleon West, 509th SFS desk sergeant.
Whenever an incident occurs around the base, the desk sergeant alerts patrolmen and dispatch them to the appropriate location. Then there are procedures SFS members must follow to ensure the safety of everyone involved.
For example, West relayed, "During standard alarm activation, we set up a 360-degree perimeter which allows us to get a view of all sides of the building. We then make contact with personnel inside to ascertain their status. Once that occurs, we request they make contact with the patrolman on scene so we can confirm their status and search the facility. If all is well, we then terminate the response; if not, we can adjust according to the situation."
When law enforcement patrols aren't responding to alarms, they typically implement exercises as a flight to hone their skills.
"Flight level exercises simulate activities such as weapons recovery and active shooter situations. Our training section, quality control and flight trainers form a synergistic triad that develops new and exciting scenarios in a variety of environments to ensure our tactics are the most current, most effective and most responsive," said West. "Although practice addresses a wide variety of circumstances, the 509th SFS members cannot predict what will occur while on patrol."
One of the most important aspects of the job of an entry controller is the base entry point check. Derived from the authority of the base commander, base entry points checks are not based on any probable cause that an individual is transporting contraband but is designed to protect government property and security of the installation. The entry controller randomly selects vehicles for inspection and if available, is assisted by a military working dog. Not only do these checks prevent personnel from entering the installation with contraband, it also prevents unwanted monitoring of base activities.
In addition, base entry point guards must be vigilant against unauthorized personnel attempting to access the installation.
Ensuring the base is safe from various threats, outside and within, is not an easy task, but the 509th SFS is up to the challenge.
"This job is challenging because working 12-15 hours a day can be draining to the body so we have to be mentality tough to endure it," West said. "We must be ready around the clock, even when there's nothing occurring."
Security Forces Airmen are here to serve as a shield against mischief and crime. If they were not present, intruders could access the base any time, base residents would be unprotected and the B-2s could potentially be in harms-way. Because of these dangers, Security Forces presence is vital to the Whiteman mission.
"I feel like our job is a necessity to the mission because we must prevent destruction from occurring," West said. "Nothing big really occurs here at Whiteman, but a good day for us is when nothing occurs."