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Behind the scenes with security forces

My alarm goes off at 3:00 a.m. for a 4:30 a.m. show time, I get dressed, tie up my boots and I’m out the door. On my way to base it’s still dark outside, and all I can think is that I want to crawl back in bed and catch a few more Z’s. I refrain from complaining because I know this is a regular start to our defenders’ day.

(U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

My alarm goes off at 3:00 a.m. for a 4:30 a.m. show time, I get dressed, tie up my boots and I’m out the door. On my way to base it’s still dark outside, and all I can think is that I want to crawl back in bed and catch a few more Z’s. I refrain from complaining because I know this is a regular start to our defenders’ day.

(U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

My alarm goes off at 3:00 a.m. for a 4:30 a.m. show time, I get dressed, tie up my boots and I’m out the door. On my way to base it’s still dark outside, and all I can think is that I want to crawl back in bed and catch a few more Z’s. I refrain from complaining because I know this is a regular start to our defenders’ day.

(U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. --

My alarm goes off at 3:00 a.m. for a 4:30 a.m. show time, I get dressed, tie up my boots and I’m out the door. On my way to base it’s still dark outside, and all I can think is that I want to crawl back in bed and catch a few more Z’s. I refrain from complaining because I know this is a regular start to our defenders’ day.

This was just the beginning of my day with security forces.

When I arrived at the 90th Security Forces Group building, everyone was getting their weapons and forming up for guard mount. This is the portion where they receive their post assignments, conduct roll call and ensure they have all of their equipment.

After this I was off to the gate with Senior Airman Frank McCullough, 90th Security Forces Squadron installation entry controller.

I was handed a scanner and began checking IDs, which was a rewarding and slightly stressful experience. I felt like I was scrambling to move quickly because I didn’t want to be the cause of a back-up at the gate, but I was also delighted that I could greet people. It was nice to feel like I had a hand in the security of this base, something our defenders know all too well.

After being at the gate for a while, I was picked up by Senior Airman Michael Pigg, 90th SFS military working dog handler and his dog, Oli.

We headed to the kennel and wasted no time preparing for a dog bite. Yes…I said bite. After watching a couple of the other handlers get bit, I slipped on a huge arm cover, received a safety brief and took a deep breath.

I was nervous of course because of how powerful Oli was, but the discipline and relationship he had with Pigg was remarkable.

Next thing I know I was running across the grass, keeping an eye on Oli as he quickly caught me and knocked me to the ground. I couldn’t feel the bite with the arm cover, but I could still feel his strength. I would hate to be the person that has to feel the full force of Oli’s power.

After the fun at the kennel, there was one last stop. The Base Defense Operations Center also known as BDOC.

This is where they dispatch patrols, monitor alarms and basically serve as the control center for security forces. From the monitors positioned everywhere in the room and the phones ringing off the hook, it seemed like a lot for the two defenders at the desk, but they made it look easy.

After a long day of fun and learning I walked away with a greater appreciation for security forces and what they do. They are responsible for law enforcement on base and providing security in the missile field. This requires a lot of mental and physical preparation on their part because they must remain aware and physically ready to defend our base and its personnel.