ROYAL AIR FORCE FAIRFORD, England, Nov. 4, 2019 —
For over 100 years, the United States and the United Kingdom have fought side-by-side in major conflicts including two World Wars and the War on Terror, forging a powerful alliance that is respected and feared throughout the world.
For Bomber Task Force Europe 20-1, Airmen of the U.S. Air Force 2nd Security Forces Squadron have deployed from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, to RAF Fairford, England.
“The mission is to provide security for the B-52 presence that came from the 2nd Bomb Wing to enable them to complete their mission with NATO and joint partners and sister forces,” said Master Sgt. Lilgjay Webb, 2nd SFS team lead.
The defenders of Barksdale cannot protect their wingmen alone. To accomplish their mission, the security forces Airmen must partner up with local Ministry of Defense Police, who are civilians that work for the Royal Air Force or Defense Force.
Airmen are protective of their wingmen, so Barksdale’s defenders were eager to make the trip across the Atlantic to guard their comrades.
“We want the pilots to know that they are in good hands,” said Staff Sgt. Michael Daehnert, 2nd SFS area security.
Together with their MOD Police partners, the 2nd SFS Airmen perform multiple security patrols, guard each of the gates, check on the aircraft, check on buildings and check on the outside fence.
“We make sure that nobody is on the fence,” said Senior Airman Alex Katsigiannis, 2nd SFS security specialist. “People like to take pictures, which is allowed in this country, but they cannot touch the fence or lean over the fence. We have to make sure they are doing what they are supposed to and they aren’t crossing any boundaries.”
Both Barksdale security forces and local MOD Police work toward a safe and secure base, while learning about the subtle difference of their cultures.
“My favorite part about working with the English police is learning their culture and how some words and some phrases can mean something completely different for them than it is for us,” Webb said. “It’s a great time working with the forces from the United Kingdom.”
“It’s amazing working with the English police,” Daehnert added. “They have a much different way of operating than us, so we learn a lot from them.”
While the 2nd Security Forces Airmen and MOD Police do their job, they get to see the mission of the BTF from all points of view.
"The 2nd Bomb Wing has some of the best Airmen in the Air Force,” said Webb. “They are out here doing good work to help build the Air Force's relationship with our NATO partners and. We get to see all their hard work come together here at RAF Fairford."
The 2nd SFS and MOD Police do their job so everyone else can rest easy to do theirs.
Webb said. “We enjoy being here and getting the mission done.”