Air Force

July 20, 2012

Service members: Let’s talk trash

by Staff Sgt. Sheila deVera
379th Air Expeditionary Wing public affairs

SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNS) — With no one in sight, a trash truck pulls up to one of the many orange dumpsters throughout the base. As the driver and his crew dismount to empty the dumpster, so does a crew of four Airmen. However, before the dumpster can be emptied, these Airmen jump into it and begin a process of what some might describe as a very dirty job.

“I found one” says an Airman. “BINGO!” says the other. “Two more security violations, a boarding pass with all the personal information on it and a customs form complete with his home mailing address.”

The 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron’s Escort Flight Tango Element is led by, Staff Sgt. Willard Hughes during the morning-shift and Staff Sgt. Anthony Espino during the night-shift. These gentlemen lead a team of 18 Airmen, whose primary duties are to dive into dumpsters in search of items containing information that could present a security risk to service members, their families and the base.

Tango Element members, sometimes referred as the “Dumpster Divers”, recover an average of 400 operations security violations a week.

“Our mission is to look into the dumpsters looking for OPSEC — critical information, maps, names, addresses and uniforms,” Hughes said. “Once we find these items, they are logged into the system, verified, we notify the unit’s first sergeant and create a weekly report which is sent to wing leadership.”

In accordance with the Air Force Central 100 percent shred policy, outlined in the Air Force Instruction 10-701, Operations Security, the 379th ECES will oversee and conduct the wing’s “dumpster dive” program. In total, the divers continuously inspect more than 150 dumpsters on a daily basis.

“Our job is to ensure the safety and security of not only our Air Force mission, but our coalition partners as well,” Espino said. “There are a lot of personal and work-related items found that can potentially lead to credit card fraud, identify theft and impede our mission capabilities.”

Master Sgt. Marcus Sidney, the 379th ECES Wing Escort Program manager, validates and categorizes all items recovered by Tango Element.

The three categories are uniforms, rules information and critical information. However, the biggest OPSEC category violation is the rules information that contains privacy act and personal information such as receipts, mailing labels, documents and pictures.

“During rotation season is when we see an influx,” said the 18-year veteran. “As a base, there were more than 1,900 OPSEC violations for the month of June.”

This year alone, there have been more than 9,000 OPSEC violations. In 2011 there were more than 22,000 total violations.
“We protect everyone from themselves,” said Airman 1st Class Othniel Lambert, who is assigned to the 379th ECES Escort Flight. “We’re here as a safety net to catch any sensitive items before it gets into the wrong hands.”

The job itself can be a very dirty job, but Tango Element members protect everyone by getting inside and inspecting the dumpster every day looking for information that may compromise the security and safety of personnel and the base.
March Air Reserve Base does not maintain an operational security posture as stringent as the base depicted in this article, partially due to our location in the continental U.S., however, that does not absolve us of the responsibility of ensuring we all comply with mandated DOD OPSEC policies.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Russell S. McMillan

March dedicates base barbershop to longtime barber

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Russell S. McMillan Col. Russell A. Muncy, commander, 452nd Air Mobility Wing, March Air Reserve Base presents Nancy M. Alvarez with the new barbershop signage honoring her late husband and fo...
 
 

Preventing childhood obesity through awareness

Each September, during National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, we renew our efforts to reverse the continuing crisis of obesity among our nation’s youth. Every child, regardless of ethnicity, socio-economic background, or ability, should have equal access to healthy food options and physical activity opportunities. The epidemic of childhood obesity threatens the future of our young...
 
 

Crash memories still painful for B-17 navigator

(Sixth in an 11-part series that was first run in the Beacon in 2007) The sound of footsteps at night on the wooden walkway outside his hut filled 2nd Lt. Sidney Solomon with dread. It was always a GI coming to notify him and his B-17 Flying Fortress crewmates they would be part of a...
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash

State of Air Force Reserve discussed at AFA

U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash Chief of the Air Force Reserve Lt. Gen. James F. Jackson, gives his insight on the reserve component during Air Force Association’s Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition, in Wash...
 
 
U.S. Navy photo by Greg Vojtko/Released

Riverside hosts inaugural 9/11 tribute concert

U.S. Navy photo by Greg Vojtko/Released Capt. Stephen Murray commanding officer at Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), Corona Division, right, and Col. Russell Muncy, commanding officer of 452nd Air Mobility Wing at March Air ...
 
 

U.S. Air Force to change instructions for oaths

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The Air Force has instructed force support offices across the service to allow both enlisted members and officers to omit the words “So help me God” from enlistment and officer appointment oaths if an Airman chooses. In response to concerns raised by Airmen, the Department of the Air Force requested an opinion...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin