News: Damascus native defends Bagram Air Field
Story by Senior Airman Patrick McKenna
BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan -- Senior Airman William Wheatley is currently deployed to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan and is a member of the 455th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron.
Back in the states, he is a reservist assigned to the 459th Security Forces Squadron on Joint Base Andrews, Md. He is a native of Damascus, Md.
While deployed to Bagram, he serves as over watch in the towers that keep constant watch over one of Bagram’s busiest checkpoints that sees more than 5,000 local nationals processed each day.
Wheatley is responsible for watching for any suspicious activity, and being one of the first lines of defense in the event of a perimeter attack.
Despite the long hours, Wheatley, who hopes to pursue a career in law enforcement once he returns home, says this deployment has been a good experience.
“I take a lot of pride in doing this and look forward to future deployments,” Wheatley said. “It feels good to do this mission especially downrange.”
The 455 ESFS is responsible for the security on Bagram Air Field and the more than 30,000 service members and civilians that are assigned here.
They stand watch in dozens of guard towers, check the credentials of thousands of local civilians gaining access each day, and protect one of the busiest flightlines in the world. These airmen work with civilians, service members from other branches of the military, as well as international partners like South Korean military police to defend Bagram Air Field 24 hours a day.