Face of Defense: Airman Leads Security Forces Team
By Air Force Tech. Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol
Special to American Forces Press Service
SOUTHWEST ASIA, Jan. 22, 2010 Air Force security forces have to be ready for a response at moment's notice. Known as "defenders" to many in the Air Force community, Air Force Staff Sgt. LeTari Myles and other security forces airmen are ready to take action when called upon.
Air Force Staff Sgt. LeTari Myles watches over the flightline in the early morning hours at a base in Southwest Asia, Jan. 18, 2010. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
"Along with my fellow security forces, [I] provide security for all U.S. military resources, equipment and people at our deployed location," said Myles, who serves as a security forces response team leader with the 380th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron. "We have to provide an immediate armed response to all situations affecting the protection level resources we have."
A seven-year veteran of the Air Force and the security forces career field, Myles said he knows the importance of keeping nearly 1,900 people safe along with protecting millions of dollars of equipment, aircraft and assets.
Being a "defender" takes a high volume of training and knowledge in weaponry, laws, directives and programs, policies and procedures governing security forces activities. That knowledge further breaks down into being fluent on installation security, anti-terrorism, law enforcement and investigations and air base defense.
"In short, my career field provides a first line of defense," the Detroit native said.
Deployed from the 43rd Security Forces Squadron at Pope Air Force Base, N.C., Myles said the longer he serves in the military, the more appreciation he has for his fellow security forces airmen and other servicemembers. "I'm enjoying serving in the U.S. military, and I have grown to love, accept and respect my job," he said.
Myles added that he knows deploying is "something that comes with the job."
"I knew that before I joined the Air Force," he said. "Deploying has been easy to me.” He credited his family’s support and understanding for that.
Even knowing he had to leave family behind to deploy, the staff sergeant said the time away offers an opportunity to meet new people and more.
"When you deploy, it's hard to leave your family, but you meet and become close with new people who become your extended family," he said. "The military has taught me a lot, and I have gained a lot from the military."
The 380th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron, as a part of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing, supports operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom and the Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa. The wing's mission includes air refueling, surveillance and reconnaissance in support of contingency operations in Southwest Asia.
(Air Force Tech. Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol serves in the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing public affairs office.)