SF section SHAPEs mission success

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Regan Spinner
  • 86th Airlift Wing/Public Affairs

At Chiévres Air Base, Belgium, the 424th Air Base Squadron’s primary responsibility is to secure the airfield and aircraft on the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) airfield, and many sections within that squadron make that mission happen.

The 424th ABS, which is a geographically separated unit of the 86th Airlift Wing, located at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, includes 17 different sections that contribute to the mission, and a large part of securing that mission is the 424th ABS security forces section.

While they have the same standard responsibilities as a security forces squadron, such as guarding the gate and airfield security, security forces section Airmen regularly engage with other sections within the squadron.

“To be in a squadron with different [Air Force Specialty Codes] is pretty unique,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Timon Richardson, a Security Response Team Leader at the 424th ABS. “You get the chance to learn about the other jobs in the Air Force and how they help support the mission.”

Security forces Airmen often visit other shops within the squadron and see how they operate, said Richardson. “We train with the fire department, and assist vehicle maintenance and vehicle management with conducting combat offload training and other operations.

“I would normally only hang around security forces people at a larger base,” said Richardson. “Here I go to different shops on slow days and learn about their mission and how they operate.”

Airmen in the 424th ABS security forces section also work alongside host nation partners, and in a joint environment with U.S. Army Military Police, said Richardson. “This allows us to function more efficiently and ensure the safety of the personnel and property we are tasked to support.”

Working so closely together is both a learning experience, and an opportunity to form relationships that would have been unlikely in other situations, said Staff Sgt. Richard Castro Camacho, 424th ABS Security Forces NCO in Charge.

“Many of our Airmen are performing duties that are normally held by a noncommissioned officer, but these guys do a great job taking on these responsibilities and ensuring we meet the highest standard possible,” said Castro Camacho.

The section, which is manned with seven personnel, regularly augments the host nation and U.S. Army security requirements to ensure the airfield can support 24/7 operations for this essential NATO mission.

“We all have the opportunity to have a closer relationship from the top to the bottom,” said Richardson. “And we grow as a team.”