435th SFS provides real-world security for OST

by Senior Airman Katherine Holt
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

RAF FAIRFORD, England — The 14 members of the 435th Security Forces Squadron have been providing real-world security for the 37th Airlift Squadron’s Fairford off-station training since four C-130J Super Hercules and 140 personnel landed here, April 23.

Since their arrival, the 435th SFS has been working around-the-clock on the flightline, guarding aircraft, and at the entry control point of site 14 (where OST participants are housed). “We are working 24 hours a day controlling entry in and out of the base to make sure it is secure,” said Staff Sgt. Brandon Bendele, 435th SFS. “We are using the exact same procedures as we would at home station.”
While defenders are posted at the ECP keeping the personnel safe, there are also personnel and assets on the airfield being guarded.

“We are here for the security of flightline personnel and aircraft,” said Staff Sgt. Jimmy Clark, 435th SFS. “We are watching maintenance making sure there are no unauthorized personnel approaching the aircraft.” Being on the flightline isn’t just about watching, it’s about being ready to respond if necessary.

“We are a response team,” said Master Sgt. Brian Johnson, 435th SFS. “If we get a notion of duress we will immediately respond. Our guys will put ourselves between the perpetrator and the resource then initiate challenge at a safe distance from the aircraft and remove them from the area.”

The defenders were also responsible for knowing all local policies and procedures. This meant they would have to work hand in hand with local law enforcement.
“We have a great relationship with these guys,” said Bendele. “They walked us through all the base procedures guaranteeing that we had the necessary knowledge to accomplish the mission. Since the CRG is a unique assignment for security forces, this was an opportunity for them to get back to their roots. “It’s about getting back to the basics,” said Staff Sgt. Stephen Baker, 435th SFS. “We are getting back to law enforcement and installation security.” SFS faced a few challenges upon arrival. One of their main challenges was lack of communication between posts.

“We set up radios for communication from the ECP to the flightline,” said Tech. Sgt. Nicholas “Sizzle” Siburt, 435th SFS communications. “We set up a repeater radio between the airfield and the ECP.” After just two hours, and all the radios were programmed, the defenders were back online.

The defenders have also been charged with real-world security for the 352nd Special Operations Group’s operational readiness inspection scheduled to begin today. “We’re just out here defending freedom,” said Tech. Sgt. Shane St. Laurent, 435th SFS.