Photos by Airman Jason Wiese: Staff Sgt. Travis Woll, 90th Security Forces Squadron, checks the speed of passing motorists using a light detection and ranging speed gun on Randall Ave., May 18, on F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo.
Outside the F. E. Warren base clinic a young girl approaches Master Sgt. James Dolat, 90th Security Forces Squadron flight chief, and tells him that she does not know where her father is.
Readily obliging, Dolat escorts the girl toward the entrance of the clinic where they meet the girl’s father.
“When you got lost, you found a police officer?” asked the girl’s father.
She nods, and her father assures her, “You did the right thing, then.”
It is ironic to suggest that a lost child should feel comfortable approaching armed men and women when they are lost, but the security forces members have made such a reputation that this girl’s father advised her to do just that.
“It’s because a lot of police officers, whether civilian or military, have a strong sense of values,” said Dolat. “They have integrity and a good sense of morality.”
It is this sense of ethics and dedication that helps the 90th SFS Airmen tackle their varied and integral mission.
The 90th SFS is responsible for entry control, base law enforcement and guarding high-priority areas. Day-to-day security operations are their specialty, Dolat said.
“There’s not too many other units on base that are trained to be the ‘ground pounders’ of the Air Force,” he added.
As a flight chief, Dolat said one of his responsibilities is to perform post checks, which consist of verifying that the Airmen under his lead have the proper equipment and knowledge to carry out the tasks to which they’re assigned.
He said he considers this especially important for Airmen performing entry control duties because they are the first Airmen people see when coming on base.
“Being professional, courteous and doing their job well makes people think, ‘hey, these guys know what’s going on,’” Dolat said. “If we continue to do this, it reflects well upon the Air Force and the security forces career field.”
The mission of the 90th SFS is unique because of the unique mission of the 90th Missile Wing, Dolat said.
Dolat spent four years at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, and said the comparative level of security here is higher because F. E. Warren safeguards ICBMs.
“They don’t have those assets, so they don’t have the Personnel Reliability Program,” he said. “The PRP is the major difference. It’s one of the commander’s programs to ensure the most reliable, trustworthy individuals are working near protection-level-one resources.”
While the 90th and 790th Missile Security Forces Squadrons are responsible for protecting the missile field, the Airmen of the 90th SFS provide protection for similarly critical resources.
Staff Sgt. Travis Woll, 90th SFS, patrols F. E. Warren during the night shift, where he performs random security and perimeter checks to ensure the base housing and work areas are safe, he said.
“If anyone is thinking about committing a crime on base, our presence is a deterrence,” said Woll.
When not doing these checks, Woll responds to calls from people on base and monitors for traffic violations.
One concern of Woll’s is drivers who disregard the base policy against cell phone use while driving.
“There’s a big problem with talking or texting on cell phones while driving,” Woll said. “You could be a 3,000-pound rocket if you’re not paying attention. Experts say it’s just as dangerous as driving drunk.”
All of the jobs of the Airmen of the 90th SFS are tough, Dolat said.
“I look at the career field as hard hours and not a lot of thanks,” he said. “Our guys work on holidays and down days, but we don’t get a lot of recognition.”
Dolat described people who take traffic stops personally as another difficult aspect of their job.
“Our guys are out here trying to do their job,” he said. “Most people realize that, but there are some who think we’re just out to hassle them. That’s not the case.”
There are perks to being a security forces Airman, however.
Woll said the camaraderie among 90th SFS Airmen is high.
“I think a lot of us are pretty tight,” he said. “There’s a lot of difficult stuff we do on the job or in training, and we know that we all put a lot in, so we’re a tight-knit family.”
Another benefit of being in security forces is the lack of routine occurrences during the work day, Woll said.
“The best thing about this job is that you come to work not knowing what you’re going to get,” he said. “You don’t get that monotony.”
Being a part of the base community is important to the mission of the 90th SFS, Woll said.
“A lot of people are scared or intimidated by us,” Woll said. “Security Forces Airmen are encouraged to interact with the community so they feel comfortable coming to us with problems.”
It is this attitude that allows the base population to feel as comfortable entrusting our nation’s ICBM resources to them as they do their own children.
Whether they are the face of the Mighty Ninety, the protectors of Warren thoroughfares or guardians of critical assets, the 90th SFS will continue their outstanding performance with integrity and professionalism.
For the complete article see the 06-08-2012 issue.
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