News: OSI strives for truth
Story by Gina Randall
UNITED KINGDOM - “The Office of Special Investigations exists to defend the nation, serve justice, protect the integrity of the Air Force and find the truth,” said Special Agent Timothy Olive, Air Force OSI Detachment 512 Air Force special agent in charge.
“These ideas serve as our ‘true north’ as we move to take on our future,” said Olive.
What does OSI do?
OSI agents assigned to AFOSI Detachment 512 support both RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath. Their mission is to detect and neutralize threats to Air Force Department of Defense personnel in operations covering East Anglia, including Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, as well as on-call areas in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Finland, Sweden and Iceland.
The agency deals with both state and non-state counterintelligence threats, expeditionary activities abroad, tough economic times and national attention on Air Force sexual misconduct. As a federal law enforcement agency, the investigation of serious crimes against persons continues to be a primary focus and objective. Agents must continuously examine internal processes and proactively position themselves to satisfy the needs of their customers.
“Agents are very diverse and extremely good at what they do,” Olive said.
The office has years of experience running fraud investigations, as well as agents who are specially trained in sexual assault investigations. Other felony-level cases OSI investigates include sex offenses, drugs, base-level fraud, contracting fraud, deaths, aggravated assaults, crimes against children and theft of government property.
OSI works closely with many base agencies.
“There really are no limits here — it depends on the nature of the matter being investigated,” Olive said.
More regularly, the OSI agents also work very closely with first sergeants as they are the key to the morale of their respective units. They also work with the RAF Mildenhall staff judge advocate, 100th Security Forces Squadron, family advocacy office, the base sexual assault response coordinator and many more.
“It’s important to remember that relationships, especially with our off-base law enforcement agencies, are crucial in our line of work and much of our time is spent cementing them,” said Special Agent Amanda Gleason, counterintelligence agent assigned to AFOSI Det. 512.
“We also work very closely with many U.S. and foreign governmental agencies located at the U.S. Embassy in London,” Olive said.
What can you do?
It is possible to prevent or stop many crimes if people report information in a timely manner.
OSI agents are unable to be everywhere. As a result, they rely on service members and government workers to report something that doesn’t seem right to them. It may be nothing, but it could be the key piece of information that ultimately could make a difference.
“We would like folks to be good sensors and good Wingmen,” Olive said. “Don’t turn a blind eye or think someone else will report it — take action and let someone know.”
Once a person contacts OSI, agents assess the information to determine if it meets the AFOSI threshold and warrants OSI investigative resources. They then test the allegation to determine if the crime was likely to have taken place. If appropriate, they open a case and investigate while coordinating with respective leadership and the staff judge advocate’s office. If the crime doesn't constitute a felony, the 100th SFS may investigate the matter. Sometimes there is a dollar amount, particularly in fraud investigations, and if the case does not involve that dollar amount, then OSI may hand the investigation to the 100th SFS.
“We pursue investigations aggressively and as expeditiously as possible,” Olive said. “We talk to many people during an investigation, and our goal is to find the truth and collect the facts.”
The OSI is an expeditionary force, with capabilities to operate globally. Today’s threat necessitates a lean, mobile and technologically-capable force to keep pace with rapidly expanding cyber threats.
“Working in an overseas environment can definitely be challenging at times,” Gleason said.
OSI is always looking for the best and brightest the Air Force has to offer.
Anyone interested in becoming an agent can contact special agent Marcy Givens at DSN 238-6172 or commercial 01638-54-6172.
The AFOSI Detachment 512 office can be reached at DSN 238-5015 or commercial 01638-54-5015, or DSN 238-6747 or commercial 01638-54-6747.