Peterson Airman, Sharpsville native, supports security forces operations for Southwest Asia wing

380th Air Expeditionary Wing
Story by Master Sgt. Scott Sturkol

Date: 05.06.2010
Posted: 05.06.2010 07:53
News ID: 49218
Hickam Guard Senior Airman, Hilo Native, Provides Protection for Southwest Asia Base As Security Forces Journeyman

by Master Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol
380th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

SOUTHWEST ASIA -- Airman 1st Class Derek Ables is a security forces journeyman with the 380th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron at a non-disclosed base here.

As a security forces Airman, Ables supports all security and force protection efforts for a deployed wing, the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing, of more than 1,900 people and for billions of dollars worth of Air Force equipment and assets.

Security forces Airmen like Ables receive a host of specialized training to complete their deployed mission. In doing his deployed job, Ables has worked the security forces control desk, flightline security, entry controlling to U.S.-controlled areas and base-wide patrols.

According to his Air Force job description, Ables is required to be able to lead, manage, supervise and perform force protection duties to include the use of deadly force to protect personnel and resources. He's also required to perform air base defense functions contributing to the force protection mission which includes controlling and securing terrain inside and outside military installations.

In addition to doing his job of defending personnel, equipment and resources from hostile forces, security forces members like Ables are capable of operating in various field environments and can perform individual and team patrol movements. Those movements include mounted and dismounted patrols, tactical drills, battle procedures, convoys, military operations other than war, antiterrorism duties and other special duties, according to the official job description.

A typical day at work for Ables 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 M4 rifle, and possibly an M9 pistol, in carrying out his deployed duties.

His Air Force job description also shows security forces are able to operate communications equipment, vehicles, intrusion detection equipment, crew-served weapons and other special purpose equipment. As first responders, they can also apply self-aid buddy care and other life-saving procedures at accident and disaster scenes. With law enforcement, security forces are capable to apprehend and detain suspects, search persons and property, secures crime and incident scenes, and collect, seize and preserve evidence.

Ables is deployed from the 21st Security Forces Squadron at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., and his hometown is Sharpsville, Ind.

The 380th ESFS is a sub-unit of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing. The wing is home to the KC-10 Extender, U-2 Dragon Lady, E-3 Sentry and RQ-4 Global Hawk aircraft. The wing 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 380th AEW supports operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom and the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa.