Year of the Defender: 50th Security Forces Squadron Logistics Flight keeps defenders in the fight

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Matthew Coleman-Foster
  • 50th Space Wing Public Affairs

The 50th Security Forces Squadron at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, responsible for the protection of assets vital to national security cannot undertake the task without the support of the logistics flight.
Working behind the scenes their mission is crucial to supporting Schriever’s defenders.

“Everything our defenders use to protect this base and its resources we have here, we not only equip them with, but also maintain to ensure mission success,” said Senior Airman Austin Hopper, 50th SFS resource and logistics.

The logistics flight opperations does not only consist of in garrison support, but also supports preparation for contingencies abroad.

“We support mobility and readiness requirements for 50th SFS,” said Staff Sgt. Garett Brew, 50th SFS combat arms noncommissioned officer in charge. “We supply everything from the ballistic vest you see our defenders wearing to the patrol vehicles they drive.”

The day-to-day operations for Airmen in the logistics flight is ever changing. According to Hopper, although there are typical administrative tasks involved, there is more to logistics than meets the eye.

“Some days we are maintaining vehicles, running them into town, making supply runs to Peterson Air Force Base, picking up items from the mail room, getting our all-terrain vehicles worked on and purchasing anything needed for the unit,” Hopper said. “We also work with our unit deployment and handle the safety program conducting spot inspections on defenders at their post.”

For combat arms, their day-to-day operations primarily consist of conducting training.

“We train our augmentees, ensure our defender’s sustainment and deployment requirements are met, take care of our weapons inventory and conduct proficiency requirements for instructors and Air Force Office of Special Investigation agents,” Brew said.

Hopper said even though their mission carries a serious tone, it is still fun and rewarding.

“I would say one of my favorite things is the variety in the mission here at logistics flight,” Hopper said. “We face different challenges and needs every day. You are not always sitting at your desk, you are constantly out and about.”

Hopper went on to add the people he works with every day helps him to enjoy the mission

“People make the mission, we have one of the best sections here,” he said.  “We have fun over here, but we also know how to get the job done. Any challenge we face we can typically look at each other, laugh it off and press forward, it is definitely a fun section.”

For combat arms, Brew said they get to use firearms more often than any other career field in the Air Force and enjoys the opportunity.

“Being able to become proficient with different types of weapons, having the opportunity to go to various armorys and shooting schools and being able to vocalize better training for the individuals we teach makes us not only better instructors but also better Airmen,” he said.

The logistics flight is always on the lookout for the newest technology, researching new equipment.

“Whether it is a new form of communication, something we can update in the vehicles, or something our defenders carry in their load out, if it will help us carry out the mission, we are going to find the item and get it into our defenders hands,” Hopper said.

According to Brew, the Air Force Security Forces Center is changing qualification courses to fall in line with in garrison and deployment readiness.

“The M9 Beretta has been used for decades and now we are migrating toward the M18 Sig Sauer Pistol,” he said. “The look and feel of the firearm is now modernized to reflect how defenders train.  Everything is becoming more tailored to catering to today’s tactics and all the training we conduct as a unit.”

Brew said he applauds the Air Force for recognizing security forces this year.

“Defenders are the first people you see at the gate,” he said. “This year of the defender gives a better understanding to other career fields as a whole. Most see us at the gate or in our patrol cars, but diving behind the scenes, you have commanders support staff, training, logistics, physical resources and much more. Being able to portray what the career field is rather than what’s seen is a great step.”

Hopper said the base cannot be defended with rocks. The base defense starts with logistics.

“We put the weapons in their hands, make sure the patrol vehicles run and stay running and our defenders have the gear to carry out their mission. Logistics plays a huge role in a defenders day to day operations,” he said.

This article is the first part of a series highlighting the 50th Security Forces Squadron flights. See future issues of the Schriever Sentinel.