News: US Air Force security forces support 2013 Dubai Airshow
Story by Senior Airman Bahja Jones
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - Day and night, U.S. Air Force security forces members keep a watchful eye on Department of Defense assets here participating in the 2013 Dubai Airshow at the Dubai World Central Airport in Jebel Ali, Nov. 17 -19.
“We’ve been here since the first aircraft landed providing security and we’ll be here until the last one leaves,” said Capt. Sam Murray, the 380th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron operations officer stationed in Southwest Asia and an Outer Banks, N.C., native. “That means airmen manning their post before the show, during the show and after the show.”
The U.S. has supported the DAS since 1999, which hosts more than 1,000 exhibitors from nearly 50 countries as the premier aviation and air industry event in the Gulf region. This year there will be C-130J Hercules, F-15E Strike Eagle, P-8 Poseidon, F-18 Hornet, MV-22 Osprey and CH-47 Chinook displays representing the U.S. military airpower.
With a perimeter set up around the assets, the security forces airmen are responsible for maintaining positive security control over each aircraft.
“We monitor who’s allowed in, making sure they have proper escorts, and proper badging,” Murray said. “It’s very similar to airshow protocols stateside.”
But the airmen are not alone in their operation to safeguard DOD assets on the flight line, as they work alongside the local Emirati police force sharing a common interest: maintaining security at the show site.
Rayed Mogalli, a 380th ESFS linguist translator, helps anytime there is difficulty communicating due to a language barrier.
Supporting the DAS for his third time, the Dearborn, Mich., native said their relationship has grown over the years.
“They know what we’re here to do and anytime we’ve needed anything, they’ve been very helpful,” Mogalli said.
Security forces would also work with the Emirati police to coordinate and facilitate emergency services if needed, he explained.
Overall, the security forces airmen supporting the event expressed excitement for being able to be a part of the DAS.
“I’m excited; this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Senior Airman John Carr, a security forces officer from Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, and a Glendale, Ariz., native.
The U.S. has participated in the DAS since 1999, to demonstrate a commitment to regional security, the flexibility of air power, and to strengthen military-to-military relationships with regional partners.
“It’s a really good opportunity for our airmen to see the multinational organizations who are here while strengthening our partnerships,” Murray said. “It’s also chance for them to see how well we work with other nations.”