SOUTHWEST ASIA — The 380th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron Airmen work tirelessly to ensure every aspect of the wing is protected at all times through the use of modern technology and vigilance.
“We have our force protection escorts who take care of people from the inside and our defenders, out on the posts and towers, who take care of threats from the outside,” said 1st Lt. Nikki Smith, 380 ESFS operations officer and Phoenix, Ariz., native. “Our goal here is to ensure that the mission is secure, and we do that wholeheartedly.”
From a quick reaction force, able to respond immediately if an alarm goes off, to the Tactical Automated Security System monitoring the perimeter of the base, the many different components work together to provide 24/7 security here.
“We take care of personnel security, operational security, industrial security and information security,” Smith said.
Base defense is set up in layers, she explained. The wing works with the host nation who provides the outermost security, then we have force protection Airmen to keep an eye on the people who come through the gates and we have “defenders” on the patrols, posts and towers.
“Everybody does their part to make sure we’re safe on this base,” said Airman 1st Class Ervin Anduha, 380 ESFS security forces apprentice, who is currently assigned to the vehicle search area and is deployed here from Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam, Hawaii. “Safety is our number one goal in the VSA. We have to make sure there is nothing dangerous coming on the base.”
The 380 ESFS works jointly with the host nation, the office of special investigations and the anti-terrorism office to come up with a thorough and effective security plan that meets the wing commander’s vision, according to Smith. Ultimately, the goal of base defense is to ensure mission success by protecting people and assets.
“We’re here to get the job done not only here, but also to ensure the wing’s ability to support Operation Enduring Freedom over Afghanistan,” Smith said. “The defenders we have on post will in no way let us down. I have complete confidence in their abilities and their knowledge of the weapons systems.”
There are many components to base defense that work together to comprise impenetrable layers, ensuring the resources and personnel of the 380 AEW are protected so the mission can be accomplished daily.
“There are a lot of people counting on you to do your job to make sure nothing bad happens,” Anduha, the Pukalani, Hawaii, native said. “It feels good contributing to something that’s bigger than yourself.”