Security Forces Squadron: We don't work alone

  • Published
  • By Capt. Joe Hardin
  • 114th Fighter Wing
Over 100,000 air show patrons, seven satellite parking areas, 70 buses, numerous military and civilian aircraft (not to mention the Air Force's premiere fighter) vendors, military personnel, lost children... the list goes on.

The 114th Fighter Wing commander, Russ Walz, tasked over 600 augmentees and Security Forces members to ensure the safety and security of all personnel and property both on and off the base for two days. The additional force protection measures provided by the Security Forces augmentees could not be done by Security Forces alone. We have an outstanding squadron of well trained people, with great experience in the military and in civilian law enforcement, but the bottom line is with an event as big as the 2009 Airshow, we need help to accomplish the security mission. 

The Sioux Falls Police Department, South Dakota Highway Patrol, Minnehaha County Sheriff's Office as well as numerous federal law enforcement agencies have responsibilities throughout many areas of the Airshow and all agencies had a part in planning and executing security operations at during the two day event. Local law enforcement has a big job to keep everything outside the base safe as well as having a presence on the base with all of the fans, but the greatest source of security comes from the 114th Fighter Wing. 

The base was also supported by the Navy Reserve, Army National Guard and Civil Air Patrol in various roles on and off base.
"This was a joint operation, the coordination of personnel is not a small job, but the personnel who came together for the Sioux Falls Airshow should be proud of the job they did to keep everyone safe," said Chief Master Sgt. Ron Meland, 114th Security Forces manager. 

One group of trained professionals that does not make the headlines for events such as the Airshow is the Ready Augmentees, or RAT team. This team, commanded by Capt. Kevin Miller from the Finance office, is trained at a higher level than base personnel in the area of security, weapons, use of force and many other areas to always be ready to supplement the Security Forces Squadron. 

"I am always looking for additional members to add to the great Airmen we already have on the team," said Capt. Miller. 

Miller also added that the missions for the RAT team have also included security for presidential visits and counterdrug operations. 

The augmentees who supported our Security Forces Squadron and the entire 114th Fighter Wing should be proud of a job well done, as the patrons said it best as they walked out the gate. 

"The security, safety and traffic control was outstanding. I hope that Sioux Falls will yet again put on another airshow. Everyone did a spectacular job."