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Deployed in Support of Force Protection > US Air Forces Central > News

ByJanice K. Merrill

Feb 23, 2022

Each military base is made up of people doing many different jobs working in unison to generate, maintain, and achieve mission objectives. In a deployed environment, there is a job that brings together Airmen from a variety of career fields to help maintain base security as part of the first line of defense…force protection.

Senior Airman Ashely Fair, an X-ray technician stationed at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, explained how she wondered what force protection entailed when she was briefed on her deployment to the 332d AEW and his assignment to work on the Force Protection Flight.

“Come and find out, as force protection we escort local nationals as they carry out essential maintenance and some construction work around the base,” Fair said. “We really are an additional and essential set of eyes and ears to improve base security.”

Force protection, while different from security forces, is an essential part of base security as it takes pre-emptive action to mitigate threats to the population and base assets. Force Protection is made up of members from various Air Force career fields. It is through this diversity that Force Protection continually innovates to improve and better execute the mission.

The 332d AEW provides combat air power throughout Southwest Asia by connecting every Airman to the mission and Red Tail Team operational support ensures regional security.

Although this was a far cry from her job as an x-ray technician, Fair quickly found that her experience working with patients helped prepare her to work with local nationals on the facility.

“I love working at the Escort Control Center because I love organizing the movement of large groups of people around our base,” Fair said.

Just shared that Force Protection is a great opportunity to meet fellow Airmen from a variety of different career fields.

“We can have medical, service, maintenance, logistics and others all working side-by-side to get insights into each other’s Air Force experiences,” Fair said.

Airman 1st Class Matthew Orchowsky, a mental health technician stationed at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, had the opportunity to volunteer as force protection here.

“I don’t normally deploy in my current Air Force assignment, so having the opportunity to deploy and experience a different culture has been worth every moment spent protecting the force,” Orchowsky said.

Orchowsky faced challenges such as learning to speak at the control tower and drive on the airfield. These are not typical challenges for a mental health technician, he added.

For Airman First Class Won Sun Yu, financial manager and comptroller of Ramstein, AFB, Germany, working with local nationals was like when Ramstein was the host of Operation Allies Refuge, where he worked with evacuees from Afghanistan.

“Working here is different, day and night, compared to my job at Ramstein, but the local nationals are good people to work with, even with the challenges of the language barrier,” Yu said.