Commentary

June 1, 2012

From recorder to rifle and back

by Airman 1st Class David Owsianka
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

About three and a half months ago my supervisor came to me to say I was going to be a 56th Security Forces Squadron augmentee.

Augmentees are Airmen from different base units who serve 90 days at the SFS to help during deployment shortages. I worked four-days on, with three days off and a day of training.

I wound up starting off on the wrong foot by failing to qualify on the M-16 and had to go back the following Monday. I was extremely frustrated and felt like it was going to be a long three months.

Luckily I qualified the second time hitting 18 of 24 shots.

Later that week when I received a briefing with other augmentees, I learned I hadn’t received the training they had. So, I received a five-hour crash course on what the others learned in four days.

In a matter of two weeks I went from one side of the public eye to another.

In public affairs, I provide content for the base newspaper and work with the community and media. In public affairs there is more of a personal touch to my job because I have to connect with others in a personal way.

As part of SFS, I worked at the gates where everyone drives on and off base each day. I had to get into the state of mind of always being on alert because I provided security for all of Luke’s 6,000 military and civilian employees, including families who live here.

The first couple of weeks at my new job were a bit challenging because I had to learn a completely different career field on the fly.

After my first month I became more acclimated to my new duty as a result of on-the-job and off-day training I received.

It also put things in perspective for me; I never knew what SFS Airmen went through until I experienced it.

While being an augmentee, the most frustrating part was having people come to the gate without the right credentials and getting upset with me when I wouldn’t grant them access.

I also went through a base-wide exercise with security forces. During the exercise I had to put up barriers and ensure that nobody could enter or exit the base as a safety precaution. As a part of public affairs I normally do things such as work with the media, put together press releases and fill out media queries.

I also had to deal with the weather. When I started in February it was about 45 degrees in the mornings, and in my final days I dealt with the 100-degree heat as summer began.

Now that I have completed my duty with SFS, I have to admit I gained a lot from my time with another unit.

I went into this duty not wanting to do it but was able to gain a better understanding of the Air Force mission. At the end of the day I did what a lot of people think the military does, I literally had to grab a rifle and man a post.




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