Getting to know the 445th Security Forces Squadron

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Santana Austin
  • 445th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Air Force Security Forces are the Air Force's first line of defense when it comes to protecting base personnel and aircraft from physical attack. It is also their job to maintain law and order on installation property.

Working early and late, the duty day of a security forces professional can be busy and tiring, but one thing is for certain: It never gets boring.

"I never get tired of my job," said Tech. Sgt. Jarrod Applegate, 445th SFS. "The best things are that it's fast-paced and that you never know what'll happen next."

Security forces duties include law enforcement, ground combat, perimeter and internal security, and combat arms training and qualification. They are also prepared to perform life saving procedures, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and act as first responders to accident and disaster scenes. With as many skills as they possess, training for members of the 445th SFS is very extensive.

"Training includes tactical vehicle operations, mounted and dismounted patrol, hand-to-hand combat and criminal apprehension," said Chief Master Sgt. William Arehart, 445th SFS training manager, though he admits there is a challenge. "It can be rough trying to get all the necessary training done during UTAs while performing our usual duties, but we make it happen."

Despite all the combat and law enforcement-based activities, members of the 445th SFS also assist with community functions. Some of their volunteer work includes the Fisher House, coaching football, the City of Columbus's Veterans Committee and Christmas in April.

"Christmas in April is one of the charities we've helped with," said Arehart. "In this charity, local businesses chip in to help provide building materials to fix up the houses of the elderly and disabled. Some of our members provide labor to help rebuild or revamp the houses."

Another special aspect of the SFS is the Phoenix Raven program. SFS personnel within the Phoenix Raven program provide security for aircraft in hostile locations, airports and other landing areas. Phoenix Raven teams work on all types of Air Mobility Command airlift missions including theater support missions, contingencies, exercises or deployments, advising aircrews on force protection measures and conducting airfield assessments.

"Working the gate and patrolling is only part of what we do," said Arehart. "We make sure every inch of this base, both inside and outside the gates, is safe."