Through Airmen’s Eyes: Warren Defenders close-up

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Christen Ornella
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs
Each day is pretty well different from the next in public affairs, but one overcast and windy day in June was far different from the rest of those windy days we so cherish in Cheyenne. I was immersed in something new. Trudging through the cold water and slippery rocks of Crow Creek, getting hit by simmunitions (M-9s loaded with dye-marking cartridges), learning about the layers of defense, watching military working dogs bite my fellow Company Grade Officers, wearing a heavy-weighted vest and combat helmet while hiking and jogging with a fake M-4 through the base's terrain, I gained a whole new appreciation for the men and women of the 90th Security Forces Group.

These combat forces are proficient, professional and powerful, and 14 CGOs from across the base got a close-up look at just that. The 90th SFG invited the Company Grade Officers Council to learn about their defenders' roles in executing the mission. It was a CGOC event led by security forces CGOs.

First we received an overall 90th SFG mission brief from Lt. Col. Michelle Stringer, 90th SFG deputy commander. We then made our way to the basement for Guardmount.

After gearing up and getting briefed for the day, the Airmen performed an about face (a marching move to turn around) and scattered to their vehicles to begin their shift, whether that be 12 hours or three to four days out in the field.

Missile security forces Airmen posted up at the maintenance training facility with their armored vehicles and field equipment displayed. I learned so much from these Airmen and gained a new understanding of how each vehicle and Airman plays a part in securing and defending the missile complex.

Next, the 90th SFG Tactical Response Force forcefully sawed through a fence and entered to secure the launch facility training site during their recapture demonstration. One after another with maybe an arm's length in between at best the TRF Airmen fast-roped down the hole with great speed to recapture the site.

The Missile Security Control was our next stop, where we got an in-depth overview of how the Airmen that go to and from the base and missile field are tracked as well as the overall security oversight that these defenders provide for the launch facilities and Weapon Storage Area.

After a quick lunch break at the SFG building, we braced the wind as the military working dogs and their handlers gave a demonstration of how they use the dogs to search for drugs and ensure compliance from the potential suspect. A couple of CGOs donned the bite suit and became part of the demo. The CGO did not comply with the handler's request to come forward and instead ran fast in the opposite direction. The handler released the dog, and the dog threw his body in the air, opened his mouth wide and bit down hard on the CGO's (fully protected) arm.

A law enforcement cop then shared with the group how he pulls drivers over, checks for a possible DUI and arrests them. We got the handcuffs and clenched them down on each other's wrists, which is actually more difficult than you think--and these Airmen were compliant!

The final portion of the day was, I think, everyone's favorite. We received a quick rundown of small unit tactics used in the field, and once we became proficient enough, we made our way up and over hills, through tall grass and shrubbery, and through the waters of the river on base--first just ankle deep and then waist deep, unless you were like me and slipped on a rock. Then, you took a full-body dive. At that point, I was thankful though because we had been hiking and jogging with all our gear for about a mile and a half. The cool water was refreshing. We ended at a training site where we attempted to recapture the payload transporter--quite unsuccessfully, I might add.

The day came to a close the 90 SFG TRF training house, where we broke off into groups and learned how to properly clear a room. We then put our skills to use with the M-9 simmunitions, face masks and gloves. At that point, I was happy to be wearing the heavy vest. It was intense and even a little fun.

I had the unique opportunity to learn how each squadron and team fits into security forces to execute the base's mission and gained a new perspective on what our defenders provide to us day in and day out. These Airmen are tasked with 24 hour operations where they face early mornings, night shifts and weekend duties--all in support of the Air Force's number one priority.

As a young Airman, your job responsibilities lie primarily in the category of becoming the expert in your field. Learning the "ins" and "outs" of your career is absolutely necessary and a large focus area. However, as you progress in the Air Force, it is also important to understand the responsibilities of others around you supporting and executing the same mission because everyone here plays an integral role in defending America with the world's premier combat-ready ICBM force.

This immersion tour made it even more apparent of how important and beneficial it is to learn about what others do around you and how they support the mission. I challenge you to get out from behind your computer and chat with someone whose job you may not know very well. You'll be a more well-rounded Airman for it.

Thank you, 90th Security Forces Group. I appreciate what you do for our mission and our base.