Senior Airman Brittany A. Chase --
Team Misawa’s 35th Security Forces Squadron received the Pacific Air Forces’ outstanding medium security forces unit of 2017, beating nine other bases in the command.
The squadron consists of 225 U.S. Air Force active duty, civilian and Japanese national members divided among three flights, with two elements each.
The SFS team safeguarded approximately 11,500 Status of Forces Agreement personnel and $3.5 billion in Department of Defense assets.
“It's an awesome recognition and it shows our squadron works really hard,” said Senior Airman Ashley Raymon, a 35th SFS base defense operations center controller. “Even though I might not always understand why we do certain things a certain way, it makes sense now and it feels great knowing I played a role in that.”
Over the 2017 calendar year, they led a wing-wide operation plan to increase forward deployment capabilities and designed the first wing co-operations and base cluster operation center to allow seamless integration and communication with their Japanese counterparts.
“The professionalism of the Airmen, NCOs and officers of the 35th SFS was the driving factor behind getting this award,” said Master Sgt. Bruce Rick, the 35th SFS integrated defense NCO in charge. “All members and direct leadership from our NCO corps made this year a success by improving our community relationships, our law enforcement and warfighting capabilities.”
They also led the Government of Japan and U.S. customs program on base, saving $23.5 million.
“Now I realize how much coming to work every day and doing my job really does pay off,” Raymon explained while contributing the win to the whole squadron. “It's [incredible] to be recognized not just in Misawa, but throughout PACAF.”
Being number one in PACAF is not a new accomplishment, as they also came out victorious against 10 security forces teams and one Army military police unit in the second annual advanced combat skills assessment.
Because of the win at the PACAF level, the 35th SFS will go on to compete for the Air Force-level award.
“This award is recognition of the tireless, intelligent and aggressive approach our Airmen take to protect the 35th Fighter Wing,” said Maj. Patrick Gordon, the 35th SFS commander. “It is also a message of assurance to our community and our allies. They are guarded by some of the best Defenders in the Pacific.”