News: Two uniforms, one mission
Story by Senior Airman Jared Trimarchi
AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar -- It is no easy task protecting the millions of dollars of assets on a flightline and the service members who work 24/7 to ensure aircraft are in top shape.
Airmen of the 379th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron have teamed up with Marines from the Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 3 for one mission; flightline security.
Five Marines rotate every 60 days to augment security forces Airmen.
"This is a great learning experience for me and I have enjoyed my time protecting the flightline and controlling the entrance to ensure everyone who comes through has the right credentials," said Marine Sgt. Dominic Byron, an aviation electrician who works on EA-6B Prowlers and is deployed from Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station, N.C. "I am grateful to augment these security forces professionals who I have learned from and have shared some awesome experiences with."
Although they wear different uniforms, both the Marines and Airmen, share a top priority to ensure anyone who accesses the flightline is an authorized user.
"The Air Force and the Marines share the flightline and it is a humbling experience getting to protect the service members who we see everyday working hard," said Byron, a New Milford, Conn., native. "Unlike security forces Airmen, we don't work with defending the base on a daily basis here. Getting this opportunity has been a tremendous achievement for me.
"This is a very important job. We have fellow Marines working on the flightline so we take this job very seriously."
According to Senior Airman Colby Davis, a 379th ESFS defender who is deployed from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, and a Brooksville, Ky., native, working with the Marines has been a privilege.
"This is my first time working with the Marines, but to be honest I can't even tell they wear a different uniform," Davis said. "The Marines are extremely professional and put the mission first. It doesn't feel like I'm working with someone from a different branch."
Though on a daily basis, Byron maintains Prowler's electrical systems, he said augmenting security forces Airmen has given him learning experiences he can use.
"On the Prowlers we work to ensure the aircraft is safe to fly and we protect our aircrew and as a security forces member we are also ensuring the safety of people and assets," Byron said. "Even though we all wear different uniforms throughout the branches, we are all in the same fight sharing the same mission and we are all brothers and sisters."