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39th SFS: a look behind the scenes

Tech. Sgt. Jones, 39th Security Forces Squadron Delta Flight sergeant, observes an Airman clearing his weapon before guard mount April 4, 2019, at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. The 39th SFS Airmen perform these safety checks after receiving their weapon and before turning it back in to ensure it is safe to handle. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Trevor Rhynes)

Tech. Sgt. Jones, 39th Security Forces Squadron Delta Flight sergeant, observes an Airman clearing his weapon before guard mount April 4, 2019, at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. The 39th SFS Airmen perform these safety checks after receiving their weapon and before turning it back in to ensure it is safe to handle. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Trevor Rhynes)

Tech. Sgt. Jones, 39th Security Forces Squadron Delta Flight sergeant, observes an Airman clearing his weapon before guard mount April 4, 2019, at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. The 39th SFS Airmen perform these safety checks after receiving their weapon and before turning it back in to ensure it is safe to handle. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Trevor Rhynes)

Tech. Sgt. Jones, 39th Security Forces Squadron Delta Flight sergeant, observes an Airman clearing his weapon before guard mount April 4, 2019, at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. The 39th SFS Airmen perform these safety checks after receiving their weapon and before turning it back in to ensure it is safe to handle. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Trevor Rhynes)

Master Sgt. Michael Alberti, 39th Security Forces Squadron Delta Flight chief, briefs Airmen during guard mount April 4, 2019, at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. Guard mount takes place prior to Airmen reporting to their assigned post for their shift and gives flight leadership the opportunity to pertinent information. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Trevor Rhynes)

Master Sgt. Michael Alberti, 39th Security Forces Squadron Delta Flight chief, briefs Airmen during guard mount April 4, 2019, at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. Guard mount takes place prior to Airmen reporting to their assigned post for their shift and gives flight leadership the opportunity to pertinent information. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Trevor Rhynes)

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey --

In a dark room illuminated by computer screens, members of the 39th Security Forces Squadron man the Base Defense Operations Center. The quiet sounds that fill the room are deafening like a calm before the storm until suddenly the desk sergeant reacts to the blaring sounds of a ringing phone.

No one knows what’s on the other end, whether it’s a crisis or a cat stuck in a tree, but to the squadron, it doesn’t matter. When an individual calls into the squadron, the BDOC jumps into action, gathering information and facilitating a response.

There are four intricate pieces that make up the overall 39th SFS mission: from S1 administration, to S2 investigations and anti-terrorism, S3 operations and S4 supply. They are all focused on one thing, keeping the base and its assets safe.

Of all the defenders assigned to a security forces squadron, the S3 Airmen are the ones seen around base the most.

“We handle day-to-day security forces operations and the military working dog program,” said Master Sgt. Kevin Grimes, 39th SFS operations superintendent. “Our day-to-day responsibilities are what the average Airman around base sees every day. Airmen assigned to my section are the ones conducting patrols, responding to emergency situations, thefts, damage to property, medical situations and maintaining control of all of our assets.”

These Airmen have their hand in operations that occur around base, whether it’s maintaining security for other agencies or vetting access for individuals coming on to base. They conduct these operations around the clock.

Those Airmen can’t do it alone, however. If an incident requires more attention than a patrol can give, the situation is passed along to S2 – investigations, anti-terrorism and intelligence.  

“If something can’t be resolved during the course of working with a patrol, it goes to investigations because they have more time and resources to spend figuring out the who, what, where, when and why of an incident,” said Tech. Sgt. Corie Flores, 39th SFS anti-terrorism program manager.

From petty to federal-level crimes, investigators are the detectives who handle criminal investigations for the base. The section gathers and analyzes information on threats and suspicious-activity reports to create trends and report their findings up their chain of command with recommendations to counteract those trends.

This section also works to prevent incidents. They continually monitor and assess the climate, giving leadership an accurate sight pictures to things that could affect the base.

“As the anti-terrorism program manager, I create force protection training scenarios that lessen the likeliness of our base becoming a target and our intelligence section collects usable intelligence from other agencies,” said Flores. “We decide courses of action to counter possible threats, which could increase patrols in an area.”

Whether it’s for in-depth scenarios or the grind of daily operations, S4 provides the equipment and training necessary to keep defenders qualified to safeguard the base and secure its assets.

“We’ve got a wide scope that centers on keeping our Airmen equipped, trained and qualified,” said Master Sgt. Nakoma Pratt, 39th SFS logistics and readiness superintendent. “Airmen in this section take so much pride in what they do, because they know they’re supporting the rest of the unit the best we can through equipment upgrades and maintaining the things we already have.”

Continuing along in the realm of support to the S2 and S3, defenders with S4 handle the supply and logistics for the squadron, S1 handles the administrative operations.

While S4 defenders support S2 and S3 operations, similarly S1 is focused on supporting the squadron’s administrative needs. This section is comprised of the commander’s support staff, arming and use of force section and the security manager section.

Similar to other squadrons, the CSS is responsible for most of the administrative work within the squadron which allows the other Airmen to focus on their daily responsibilities of securing the base, its assets and quality of life for personnel assigned to Incirlik.

The arming and use of force, along with the security manager section tracks the member’s ability to bear arms or access secure locations in performance of their daily duties.

“Having S1 in the squadron again is certainly beneficial,” said Grimes. “They save us so much time by being the subject matter experts and being right there within the unit.”

Next time the Base Defense Operations Center answers the call, remember S1-S4 will respond. These Airmen still stand ready to respond at a moment’s notice to keep the base secure and provide those first responders the ability to facilitate the best action to deal with anything.