Security Forces switch out, Airmen stand airfield guard

25 Aug 2003 | Sgt. Bradly Shaver

Airmen of the 60th and 375th Security Forces Squadrons recently became the 87th Expeditionary SFS by relieving the 822nd SFS, who was tasked with providing security for Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa's air assets.

The Air Force ESFS members aboard Camp Lemonier protect resources and personnel to include the helicopters, cargo aircraft and equipment on the flight line, as well as any transient aircraft that comes through the Horn of Africa, according to Air Force Master Sgt. Jim Dokken, security forces flight chief.

"Our primary mission is airfield security," said Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Jonathan Sheldon, acting executive officer 87th ESFS. "We are trained and equipped to make sure the air assets are able to perform their mission and interrelate responsibility."

The responsibilities the 87th ESFS will carryout will help the mission of CJTF-HOA in support of the war against terrorism ready to disrupt, defeat and deter terrorist groups in the region.

"Nobody gets onto the flight line who is not authorized to be there," Dokken said. "We have security checks for all those who come onto the flight line as well as patrol coverage around the perimeter. We look for anything out of the ordinary, anything suspicious that could be detrimental to the flight line."

On the airfield, the 87th ESFS does mounted and unmounted patrols, giving the squadron a greater distance to detect terrorist threats.

"We have technologies that are force multipliers, allowing us to have less manpower than traditionally required and still mitigate potential threats," Sheldon said.

Within the last 12 months, the 87th ESFS has been a very mobile unit, transferring from one area to another. Upon arriving to Camp Lemonier, they quickly modified their operating schedule to fit the CJTF-HOA mission.

"The squadron is able to deploy to austere areas in the world and setup security," Sheldon said. "The Random Antiterrorism Measures we conduct are tailored to threats throughout the (region). They are specifically designed to act as a deterrent, positioning us to mitigate terrorist threats and counteract to them.

"If terrorists were looking for a soft target, they would see the 87th ESFS as a well-trained disciplined force that is prepared to counter at anytime," he expressed.

"It's a nice change of pace for us to be here," said Dokken, "We like to deploy places and handle our job in different environments. Standing security at one duty station for an extended period of time can get monotonous."

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