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RF7126
08-14-2006, 19:12
How do you guys in Security Forces stay alert after doing guard duty for several hours? Do you have enough space to walk around when not on a gate? Are there rotating shifts so you don't spend too much time looking at the same fence?

I'm currently still in college but after I get my degree I plan on enlisting in the AF (tried ROTC, not my thing), and I would like to be Security Forces as I have a passion for law enforcement and security. However, I'm worried that I'll be bored to death and regret my decision. My current security job is access control (maybe 1 car an hour until shift change) and if I don't bring something to do I go nuts.

Is Security Forces something that can keep your interest and not drive you up the wall with boredom? I have no problem checking IDs for 8hrs as long as I'm doing something, it's not so much the type of work as not having any work to do.

I don't mean for this question to sound disrespectful, I have the utmost respect for you guys, especially since I'll bet the job is considerably more demanding than most people realize.

MrMurphy
08-14-2006, 20:08
1. Talking. Every person in SF has a life story and in an 8 hour shift, you generally hear it. If you're bored enough and if there's enough of you in the vehicle or shack, you generally hear about every girl/guy they've ever dated, slept with, thought about sleeping with or wanted to sleep with. Including pros and cons of brunettes blondes, redheads, Asians, blacks, etc.

SF guys and girls are not like The Rest Of The Air Force, as i told someone (civvy contractor) once, if an office commando farts at work they excuse themself. If a cop farts in a Humvee (especially the gunner) they're usually slapped, ridiculed, and then judged on volume, sound, length, and smell. We're odd like that.

2. If you're working a gate most traffic flow is enough to where you stay busy (main gates at least) I like working gates for this reason.

3. If you're a security patrol, driving around. Including drag racing Humvees up and down just because.

4. If you're a fire team in a Humvee, like I was in yesterday, repeatedly banging your head on the inside of the turret as the gunner can keep you awake. :) Seriously. They pad it for a reason. :rollsmiley:


Bringing lots of caffeine. Energy drinks and Gatorade, chips, etc.

Mental games.

Depending on your base, flight, leadership and whether there's an inspection going on, reading material, from CDCs and OIs (officially approved) to unofficial stuff (books, MP3 players, hell even laptops on some night shifts I've seen) Some flight chiefs and LTs (not mine, I work days) would rather have them awake and paying attention to SOMETHING than bored to death and passed out.

Usually it's 2-man patrol and they go 1 up 1 down (1 observing, the other reading or whatever).

MrMurphy
08-14-2006, 20:16
There's also the joys of jacking up (proning out/frisking etc) maintenance troops for not doing what they're supposed to (widespread) i.e not wearing restricted area badges when they step away from working on an aircraft. Going 10-20 feet is fine getting something but leaving the hangar and walking halfway across an aircraft loop without it is another.

Some guys don't even bother anymore since they never, ever learn, but when you're bored, it gives you something to do. You can either roll up and warn them (usual) or if you're really bored do the complete dive out, M4 up "Turn 180 degrees from the sound of my voice! using your left hand pull out your ID! Throw it on teh ground! Step away!" thing.


One day me and a guy discovered on an incredibly slow Sunday morning it took 22 minutes and 12 seconds to idle an F150 around an aircraft loop (put in drive no touch gas).

meeko
08-14-2006, 20:26
Powers of the mind. I don't care who you are if you have ever really worked flight duty as a Security Forces member you have gotten "wobblly headed" a time or two. If you say you haven't your either lieing or you haven't worked flight! Just like anywhere try to stay focased. Also a good off duty physical fitness routine helps. I find guys are less tired if they consistantly (normal)work out and eat right. It is hard sometimes working odd hours to find or make the time to get to the gym. Get a normal amount of sleep for yourself. It's easy to short yourself when you get home at 7:00 am and want to stay up to enjoy all of the day and think a 2 hour nap from 7:30-9:30 pm will get you by. It wont trust me.

MrMurphy
08-14-2006, 21:25
Yup.

Pushups always wake you up too. There's a reason I can do 64 a minute now. :)

RF7126
08-14-2006, 22:54
Thanks for the replies, I'm glad to know I'm normal after all. I was beginning to think I had ADD. :supergrin: I can't wait to get started!

MrMurphy
08-15-2006, 10:18
Oh yes you can.... trust us! :)



Today I went to sleep at 10pm, woke at 3:40am, was at work at 6am, was in the turret behind a M240B from 7:30am till about 2pm in helmet and body armor, then waited around and had a commander's call (standing for another hour) with the base commander till 5pm.

And this is a short day.

meeko
08-15-2006, 10:33
Enjoyed my active duty and ANG time but thats why I'm glad I work for a civillian agency. If you have to stay longer they pay you, what a concept! It does get a little easyer with the more rank you make. Of course I could do without some of the petty drama or spot fires you have to put out or the personalities to deal with as a supervisor but it's not bad. i look at it this way. there wasn't one day that I didn't come to work and something not make me laugh. there are some stupid stupid people. You will see in fact I'll go one step farther and say with all of the people you will see stepping on themselves any minimal amount of screwing off is covered. It dosn't take to much effort to fly under the radar.

Glockster35
08-20-2006, 16:24
I have found that there is only one sure fire way to stay alert on a long 12-14 hour shift.

Keep your mouth running, and your ears open to listen to your Alpha's B.S. stories.

In about 5 minutes, I can tell if I will ever get a long with someone, or if I would be better off charging the weapon, and sticking it in my mouth.

Now, I have to ask, if you are going to college, and getting a degree, are you planning to enlist or become commissioned (I read enlist)?

As an officer (commissioned) you would rarely have the opportunity to ride a patrol or work on the flightline. The vast majority of SF Officers are desk jockeys.

I would highly encourage you to take the route that would make you happiest in the long run (read as $$$$$)! Althoough doign a few years as an enlisted troopie then getting commissioned would mean as a lieutenant, you would be making more based on being proir enlisted. Although in the long run, you will be older than most of the other LT's.

These are decisions you need to take seriously, because they will have a definate impact on your life!

RF7126
08-20-2006, 18:04
Glockster35,
I plan to enlist after graduation (E-3 as I understand it?). I feel somewhat foolish when I tell the story but ... I had a ROTC scholarship but as I found out more about what I was going to be doing I dropped it right before I was legally committed to anything other than paying back the tuition. It's a H*LLUVA lot harder now without the money from ROTC, but I despise administration/desks and was depressed when time I thought about being stuck behind a desk every day. I kept hearing stories from a friend who was enlisted in Security Forces and another in Marine security and I was constantly jealous of what they were doing every day. In addition to that, I'm just not a big fan of formal dinners, speeches, and all of the social requirements that seem to go along with being an officer.

I used to do Civil Air Patrol search and rescue in high school (back when they were "high-speed" and worked closely with the USAF and law enforcement) so I know a little about wearing BDUs in 110 degree heat or 5 degree cold, and that somehow didn't bother me as much as a desk. I'd sure love the money -it's very hard financially right now- but job satisfaction is the most important thing for me.


Thanks again for all the replies. MrMurphy- I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who reads the X-wing series. :supergrin:

meeko
08-20-2006, 20:29
Originally posted by Glockster35
[B]In about 5 minutes, I can tell if I will ever get a long with someone, or if I would be better off charging the weapon, and sticking it in my mouth.B]


If your going to do it do it over the toilet so your relief dosn't have to clean up the mess!

In all seriousness I think we have all had an alpha or two we wanted to choke out or remind them we are not his family back home so stop with the fish stories.

MrMurphy
08-20-2006, 21:27
Oh yes........



Then there's the flight chief where the running joke among the squadron is that his mustache is his alpha. :supergrin:



Then there's the ones that never say ANYTHING other than radio checks, where you're in the Humvee with them for an hour and have to look to see if they're breathing or eye movement. They kind of weird me out.

Glockster35
08-20-2006, 21:51
had a dude once claim he could transpond himself to burger king from the WSA...he sat there without movement or sound for about 10 minutes...while he ate his cheeseburger!


Weird friggin dude!

meeko
08-21-2006, 04:50
We had a tower operator call a 15 and 5 response (real world) in the Nuclear WSA about 3:00 am. He saw bigfoot looking over the fence with red glowing eyes (no joke) and called it in creaming. Where do we get these people from. Then another towe guy drank like two of those 20 oz 6 packs of coke a night and wondered why he got migrains. He was always needing relieved.

MrMurphy
08-21-2006, 12:12
A guy who PCS'd a while back, when we pulled security for a munitions storage area off in the woods, responded to a open door on a bunker (big, heavy, 100+lb door) that had been securely locked on the last walkaround, and chased (along with his alpha) a guy through the facility.


Then he apparently called it in on landline, saying he and his alpha had chased the guy through a fence. As in the guy ran right through a chain link fence and never stopped.

The guy who told me this was in the control center and got the call, and the other guy who saw it (very unshakeable guy no BS type) was REALLY shook up about it.

They're both (along with the alpha who also saw the dude) quite convinced they chased a ghost.

meeko
08-21-2006, 15:35
I know this is getting off thread but, I was told that at FE Warren WY the Security police group building was located in an old field hospital/morgue from the fort that was there in the 1800's. Several guys at Malmstrom with me had time at FE Warren and had some pretty good stories. that Z monster really messes with you when your tired.

MrMurphy
08-21-2006, 21:32
This got started by a new Sgt from Korea and two others who had been there talking about some weird stuff they'd seen, but in this particular case, the guys hadn't been on duty more than an hour or two, were on a walking patrol and quite wide awake.


Apparently in Kunsan off in the boonies somewhere, there's one post which was a 3 man post (2 guys, handler, puppy) and some guys started to refuse to want to post there after A. they heard/saw stuff (all 3 guys there) and then the DOG (normally unshakeable reliable dog, not a new one) started acting weird. As in it's seeing stuff nobody else does and is getting terrified and hiding in corners.


Some weird stuff out there.

RF7126
08-22-2006, 16:08
If you don't mind my asking, how often do you guys run into an actual threat (someone running the gate, jumping the fence, etc.) either stateside or overseas? I'll hear about one every once in a while but from the outside it seems to be very rare. I don't mean to break any sort of OPSEC but I'm curious.

meeko
08-22-2006, 17:41
Actually it was about 50/50. i was always at a nuke base so we didn't really have anyone really get out in the areas. A couple kids hit the fence once or twice. most of the stuff on active duty I saw was drama from flight members doing something stupid or threatining someone. Of course there are always domestics and DUI's when you work LE patrols.

During my ANG time I think I've seen more of a real threat type thing. On active duty your enviorment is more controlled. People (troops) are generally more behaved. They have a military career/commander to answer to. On the ANG side most of us are located either across a runway from a civilian airport or have alot of non military conected civillians around to interact with. My ANG base in general we are the first line of contact (to investigate) people or activity either called in or our patrols see and investigate. The Michigan ANG Security Forces had an incident with a man of middle eastren decent last MAR. He was spotted around the base once. Then some days later he ran the gate. A chase insued and he was ultimatly shot to death. We hasve our share. My base has had an increase of activity of snoopping like that. Like active duty everything is sent to higher headquartes/OSI. We also have our DUI's and everything else as well.

Overseas your hands can be tied a little bit. You must abide by the Host Nation Treaty. the country the base is in pretty much dictats what can and can't be done when you have to deal with that countrys citizens if you have to.


One thing that causes confusion with the ANG is where we fall under. The ANG is both state and federal. If a state emergency happens the ANG like say Security Forces can be activated under State orders by the Governor. While activated on state orders the
ANG can make arrests and detain. Under state orders is not a violation of Posse Commatatus (sp). It also helps that most of us are officers for civilian departments.

MrMurphy
08-22-2006, 21:47
In my case, yeah, the locals have some say in what happens, but the local troops aren't "too" bad, they at least try (some of them).

We had a rash of gate runners, and protesters, during the local elections things got kind of tense, host nation patrols etc were up over 50% from normal, doing "our kind of stuff" i.e random rolling patrols, troops patrolling the exterior of the base fence constantly, the local gate guards in body armor and helmet. We upped our routines as well but we were already far above what they were doing so it was mostly being a little more alert to something maybe happening.

DUIs etc all the time, accidents, tickets etc. Nearly drew my 9mm on a stupid local who almost ran me over and crashed into the drop arm/bollard as I was signaling her (from 30 yards away) to stop and the big arm came down. She stopped with 2 inches from her windshield to the arm, over the speedbump in front of it and a few inches from my feet after I jumped back out of the way.

Josh Aston
08-27-2006, 00:59
I've responded to a suicidal gesture, attempted suicide, numerous medical incidents, way too many minor vehicle accidents, a few major accidents, and a few crazy people (bi-polar)incidents. All that over a 7yr time span, so actually not much really happens. As for staying alert, its usually more like just staying awake. And sometimes you find yourself waking up, while driving a six pack through fam camp (15mph zone) at 45mph.

MrMurphy
08-27-2006, 03:13
We had an exercise again yesterday on my day off (the ENTIRE squadron was there, including back office) and kicked off the festivities with a 6am wing level commanders call, and the wing king was all over the place observing the exercise.

I was on a augmentation force unit as the 240 gunner and the five of us were either dying of boredom/trying to stay awake mixed with yells of "terminate you bastards!" So doing jumping jacks, banging my head off the turret, stretching and lots of caffeine were the order of the day till 1630.

Rob96
08-27-2006, 04:24
Spent most of my time at Clark AB in the Phillippines. Perimeter tower duty at night was the absolute worst. By yourself, stairing through nvg's looking for base intruders. No light so the locals can't observe what you are doing, especially the NPA (New Peoples Army), communist terrorists. For fun we would send the new guys out onto the flightline with windex and paper towels and tell them to clean the colored light globes, that the pilots could not see them.:supergrin: Would also send the newbies out to look for the keys to the C-5 they humped the previous day (at Clark they were priority b resources) so we had to hump them. During night shift patrols, we would hit the roads out by the washouts. They would be covered with frogs. Running over them with a humvee doing 60mph, was like playing with a huge sheet of bubble wrap.

meeko
08-27-2006, 07:30
Originally posted by MrMurphy
We had an exercise again yesterday on my day off (the ENTIRE squadron was there, including back office) and kicked off the festivities with a 6am wing level commanders call, and the wing king was all over the place observing the exercise.



Mr Murphy, isn't it funny how back office is usually unable to do anything helpful for the flight guys. Until thier is an exercise or something. Then they com out of the woodwork. At one base the back office would get armed up with M9's to set at theier desk. They wouldn't even help out on chow relief for 30 min when we were short. The going joke was they were armed so they could run out on scene when something happened for the photos on the local paper. Just an observation.

MrMurphy
08-27-2006, 10:48
They usually do show up for exercises just because we need the bodies.

One time when a certain other flight got flight of the quarter or something, the whole back office finally had to pay up on their "we'll work a day for ya" promises (they STILL owe my flight 3 days).


It was very, very unusual to see the SMSgt in charge of operations checking IDs at the gate, and a crapload of SSgts and TSgts driving around on security patrols (it was my day off).

In this particular case, the wing king was out, as was the squadron and group commander. Since the squadron commander is ex-enlisted (he made master in 10 years then commissioned) he takes care of the troops. We actually have 2 1st Sgt's at the moment, and one was driving around giving out drinks and candy and stuff to keep people awake (only seen that once before, but these two are new so we might get that regularly from now on).

The new leadership definitely seems to believe in taking care of the troops. The old boss was a good guy, but I guess being an ex-E-7 gives you a different perspective on things as an O-5. :)

slaytera666
08-29-2006, 16:10
I have never worked anything less than a 12 hour shift. Aside from when I worked in the missile field, you have to show up an hour early to arm up, get briefed, post out, and changeover. At the end of the day you have to get relieved, turn in weapons, debrief anything important and then you get off. A 12 hour shift is almost always 14-15 hours. You do whatever you can to stay awake. Coffee, soda, redbull, whatever. Mot cops smoke like its going out of style. 12 hour shifts in the desert are different too. When we were in Pakistan we rotated posts every 4 hours so it seemed to make the night go by faster. I'm in Afghanistan right now and some 12hour shifts seem like days are passing instead of hours. As an Lt you will never be doing ***** gaurd duty like a low ranking enlisted guy will. You would most likley be a flight commander or ops officer while deployed and do post checks once in a while on those guys.

davew83
09-09-2006, 02:23
I didn't, I slept, being alert is what my alpha was for :)

Blitzer
09-09-2006, 03:22
I had spent 1/3 of my active duty carring an M-16 on the perimeter, not a full time duty assignment. I found myself standing by a weapons carrier one night during an eval. Thought I was dreaming about a VW van driving around the corner of the HQ building. I found that I had been sleeping standing up with my eyes open! :shocked: :alex:

jessebo
09-13-2006, 14:13
Originally posted by meeko
Powers of the mind. I don't care who you are if you have ever really worked flight duty as a Security Forces member you have gotten "wobblly headed" a time or two. If you say you haven't your either lieing or you haven't worked flight! Just like anywhere try to stay focased. Also a good off duty physical fitness routine helps. I find guys are less tired if they consistantly (normal)work out and eat right. It is hard sometimes working odd hours to find or make the time to get to the gym. Get a normal amount of sleep for yourself. It's easy to short yourself when you get home at 7:00 am and want to stay up to enjoy all of the day and think a 2 hour nap from 7:30-9:30 pm will get you by. It wont trust me.

Wobblly? I was flat out asleep a few times. It's not easy to stay awake. I worked 3rd shift the 4 years I was in, and a few of those nights, it was just impossible to stay awake. It definately isn't for everyone. I had alot of fun when I was in, but got to bored and had to move on to bigger and better things, but I will never forget the people and all the good times I had when I was in.

Dweaver5
09-18-2006, 14:30
The sleeping thing can be rough, I see here in the base paper there were 4 sleeping on duty and 1 laptop/DVD player article 15's for last month. (Osan)

Hey you cops I got a good one for you.

Just before I went on my midtour in August my last night in fact we had a helluva night. I run the MSA on midshift. We have a separate area just outside of our main are fence with a couple portamods and inert stuff and boxes stored in there.

Our storage guys were doing security checks at 1AM and noticed the gate to this area was unlocked and the lock was bent and just hanging there (4po combo lock). We went to replace it b/c these things are always busting on us, when they went back to finish sweep they realized the gate from that area to the inner area (actual MSA aka Delta-area if you've been here) was wide open and this lock was actually missing. So now we have a completely unsecured MSA at 1AM when the locks were seen installed and intact at about 4PM that afternoon.
We of course sh$t ourselves a bit, run in call you guys I broke open our safe to arm up our own guys and we locked up.

Turned out our locks are no match for an extrimely intoxicated Marine. He was found undressed laying just near our bus that runs us back/forth to the dorms.
K-9 found him of course.

Poor kid the SF guys I talked to said he was so rocked he didnt know his name, most likely he was brought and dumped there. I never heard what happened to him. I did however wind up sitting in a bar on my way home and of course wound up drinking with more Americans. 1 Army 2 Marines and me. The Marines said he probably wouldnt get much if any trouble at all for it.

MrMurphy
09-18-2006, 14:39
Since most of the new guys at my base come from either Korea or tech school or Turkey.....from what I hear, Osan's paperwork-happy.

Dweaver5
09-18-2006, 15:58
Originally posted by MrMurphy
.....from what I hear, Osan's paperwork-happy.

Understatement of the year.
There are no LOC/LOR's here. If you do something negative that gets noticed = a Article 15.

slaytera666
09-19-2006, 11:39
Originally posted by Dweaver5
Understatement of the year.
There are no LOC/LOR's here. If you do something negative that gets noticed = a Article 15.

*cough* FE WARREN *cough*

meeko
09-19-2006, 22:30
Originally posted by Dweaver5
Understatement of the year.
There are no LOC/LOR's here. If you do something negative that gets noticed = a Article 15.

If you are a really effective NCO or supervisor there wouldn't be very much paperwork. Go up in someones guts and that usually corrects the problem. Of course there is always that one or two Baby Hueys in the bunch that you have to start a paper trail on. Thats the problem with the AF they don't know how the real world works. I'm not saying rule through fear but laying paperwork everytime means you are a coward bastard and can't handle real problems in my eyes.

Dweaver5
09-20-2006, 08:58
Originally posted by meeko
If you are a really effective NCO or supervisor there wouldn't be very much paperwork. Go up in someones guts and that usually corrects the problem. Of course there is always that one or two Baby Hueys in the bunch that you have to start a paper trail on. Thats the problem with the AF they don't know how the real world works. I'm not saying rule through fear but laying paperwork everytime means you are a coward bastard and can't handle real problems in my eyes.

No actually anything that is seen or happens that is negative you are directed here to do paperwork if its low level stuff. AKA while on my midtour one of my SSgt's came to work an hour late. It was noticed and I was directed to right an LOR. Nothing you can do here.

RF7126
09-20-2006, 11:21
Thanks again for the responses. Has anyone here done both security in the USAF and in the CIA? I've been looking into the CIA SPO job as well and I was curious about how those two compare. Obviously the life outside of the job would be vastly different from one to the other but if anyone can tell me about the jobs themselves in comparison (post or PM) I'd really appreciate it. Obviously the CIA guys don't talk much and it's making it difficult to find info. I thought about posting in GNG but I never know who I'm going to get there.

meeko
09-20-2006, 12:46
Originally posted by Dweaver5
No actually anything that is seen or happens that is negative you are directed here to do paperwork if its low level stuff. AKA while on my midtour one of my SSgt's came to work an hour late. It was noticed and I was directed to right an LOR. Nothing you can do here.

in all my years in the AF I've seen that also. Thats sort of what I'm talking about. The "managament" can't let NCO's do what NCO's need to do. The "management" has to step in and micro manage everyone. If it's a problem where AMN or SGT X keeps getting away with something and nothing nothing being "said" sure they can step in. But let the NCO's do what they learn at all the great leadership schools. Thats what I am refering to. The "managament" can't handle real issues.

While not knocking anyone heres servicein the flight level. Most AF SF back office types would not last in a real street situation. My place of employment (a U.S. Penitentiary) has it's share of serious assults and homicides. Right in front of the officers. They do not care.What are you going to do to someone doing 4 life terms. All you can do is call for assistance and wait for enough help and then jump in. I'd like to see how most of the AF SF "leadership" would handle that. It's not quite as petty as AMN X having a Guns and Ammo magazine or whatever on post.

Sorry for getting on the soapbox. I just think if they want the guy wrote up after you talked to him (I'm sure you handled it how you needed to) they can do it.

sfguard
09-27-2006, 13:11
Don't know about the active duty fellas but for the ANG the problem is dealing with pilots who are wing comanders and the such. They like to think the rules don't apply to them. If you ever want to get anywhere there in terms of rank you quickly learn they are right the rules don't apply to them, or spouse. That part of the job sucks. :brickwall: :cop:

MrMurphy
09-27-2006, 21:27
Our group commander is a self-proclaimed "cop groupie" so we're good. Our Wing commander is a 16 pilot who tolerates us.

I ID'd him coming through the gate one day because he was in the middle of a line of about six cars, in his wife's BMW so i didn't recognize it and it was through a gate he rarely ever comes through..... going ok ok ok ok HOLY uh yes sir you're good ok ok then wave everyone through and salute.

Dweaver5
10-22-2006, 14:27
Originally posted by MrMurphy
unofficial stuff (books, MP3 players, hell even laptops on some night shifts I've seen) Some flight chiefs and LTs (not mine, I work days) would rather have them awake and paying attention to SOMETHING than bored to death and passed out.


3 more Article 15's in the paper for SFS just last month for that here at Osan.

slaytera666
10-27-2006, 22:09
We had a dumbass the other day neglect to open the gate for a one star because he was busy watching a movie on post. The general had to honk his horn to get his attention. :animlol: