SOUTHWEST ASIA -- Thousands of miles from Hillsborough County and his hometown of Plant City, Fla., Airman 1st Class Joshua Willis puts on his "battle rattle" every day to set out with his fellow security forces to secure areas of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing.
Willis is a security forces journeyman with the 380th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron at a non-disclosed base in Southwest Asia. He is deployed from the 3rd Security Forces Squadron at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska.
In his deployed duties, Willis, along with fellow security forces, provides security and force protection for the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing, its people and millions of dollars in deployed equipment and assets. "My responsibilities include flightline security, entry controlling to U.S.-controlled areas and base-wide patrols," he said.
A typical day at work for Willis includes wearing the latest in "battle rattle." This can include the latest in protective armor and combat-ready gear. Additionally, he'll carry a loaded M-4 rifle, and possibly an M-9 pistol, in carrying out his deployed duties.
According to Willis' Air Force specialty job description, security forces duties include providing armed response and controlling entry to the base. Security forces also detect and report the presence of unauthorized personnel and activities and they implement security reporting and alerting systems. Also included is enforcing standards of conduct, discipline and adherence to laws and directives.
To do his deployed job, Airman Willis is also required to maintain knowledge in many areas, the job description shows. Knowledge is mandatory of weaponry, laws, directives, programs, policies and procedures governing security forces activities. They also have to know about installation security, weapon system and resource security, anti-terrorism, law enforcement and investigations, the military working dog function, air base defense, armament and equipment, training and combat arms.
"Our career field is responsible for the safety and well-being of the military personnel on base as well as the millions of dollars worth of aircraft, facilities and equipment - that's a lot of responsibility," said Willis, whose hometown is Plant City, Fla.
The 2004 graduate of Durant High School in Plant City said he's glad he decided to join the Air Force and is proud to serve wherever he is needed.
"I'm proud to be serving my country whether it's at home or overseas," Willis said. "I know that when I look back on my service, I will value the time I spent in the Air Force and know that my family and friends will be proud of me and my accomplishments."
On being deployed, the two-year veteran of the Air Force said it can change your perspective on many things.
"Being deployed is another one of those experiences that only the military can give you that makes you appreciate the things you have back home," Willis said. "Though it brings you closer to the threat, it allows you to see what you're fighting for -- the safety of your family, friends and country."
The 380th ESFS is a sub-unit of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing. The 380th AEW is comprised of four groups and 12 squadrons and the wing's deployed mission includes air refueling, surveillance and reconnaissance in support of overseas contingency operations in Southwest Asia. The wing supports Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa and Operation Enduring Freedom.
|Date Posted:||02.24.2010 00:32|
This work, Elmendorf airman first class, Plant City native, provides base security for Southwest Asia base, by MSgt Jenifer Calhoun, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.