***image1***Providing antiterrorism and force protection management for the largest support wing in the Air Force is a task within itself. But on top of that, the 435th Air Base Wing antiterrorism and force protection team is responsible for six bases, three wings, seven groups, 24 squadrons, 15 geographically separated units and 48,000 personnel, who all reside in an environment with a significant threat level.
Despite the large area of responsibility, this team has spearheaded all operations and hasn’t flinched; therefore, it has been awarded as 2005 Department of Defense Best Antiterrorism Program.
The Ramstein team submitted a package and beat out nine of the best antiterrorism programs in the entire DOD.
“I think the scope of what the program is and the environment we are in were the keys to earning the award,” said Capt. Matthew Barido, officer in charge of the AT/FP program.
On top of a large AOR and direct support of the Global War on Terrorism, the team was also responsible for managing more than $42.1 million for Ramstein and 27 GSUs. They obligated more than $19 million for force protection initiatives and oversaw $31 million in construction projects.
These projects and some extraordinary training efforts allowed this unit to take significant steps forward over the past four years.
In 2001, this same unit was noted for having 19 vulnerabilities during an inspection by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.
“We were still a young program at the time, and we had a lot of growing to do,” said Staff Sgt. Sharlene Daniels, AT/FP staff NCO.
Nearly four years later, during another DTRA inspection, the unit reduced its vulnerabilities by 78 percent (from 19 to 4 percent). This improvement can be directly attributed to the unit maximizing its resources and implementing many force protection enhancements.
The unit recently integrated the Installation Access Control System and put full effort into getting more than 35,000 military personnel registered in less than three months.
They also implemented a residential security survey program. This program provides guidance and assesses risks for the nearly 10,000 personnel living on the economy.
“It’s really a sense of accomplishment,” said Sergeant Daniels. “A lot of hard work went into this and it shows that what we are doing is actually protecting our people.”
Members of the team also wanted to note that not only the current members of the team but personnel that has come and gone played a major role in improvement of the program.
“There are also people that have come before us that made this happen,” said Captain Barido. “This is really a thankless job, and (the teams’) hard work finally paid off.”