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Base defense, a partnership effort

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Damon Kasberg
  • 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
An emergency hits a military installation. There’s some confusion as people attempt to figure out the situation and how to respond. This is where members of the base defense operations center shine.

From this location service members monitor base security, coordinate with the correct organizations to make sure first responders know what to expect on the scene, and inform the base leadership and populous on the current situation.

“The BDOC is the focal point for all emergencies and security situations,” said Master Sgt. Anthony Quinn, 332nd Expeditionary Security Force Squadron joint defense operation center battle captain. “Our responsibility is to work with our tactical automated sensor system operators to dispatch patrols, monitor alarms and ensure the cameras in this room are on the right point for recording the incident.

“We have different quick-reaction checklists for emergencies that might happen,” he added. “As soon as we find out the exact situation we start following the corresponding checklist. We also have notification matrixes we follow to make sure everyone is informed.”

This process can be more complicated when working in a joint and coalition environment, where an installation may have multiple branches of the U.S. armed forces as well as multiple coalition partners operating in the same location.

“The language barrier is the first and foremost challenge to overcome when you’re working in joint and coalition environments,” Quinn said. “People say things differently and we might not understand because of different acronyms or they have different standard operating procedures. It’s our job to understand how they operate to know what they’re doing. Then we can communicate on the same level. That’s how we’re going to be able to effectively do our jobs.”

The U.S. Air Force and Royal Jordanian Air Force understand and value the importance of working together to ensure security for both countries. In a JDOC both services are represented, giving them an advantage neither would have alone.

“The partnership is great because they can speak the language of the culture we’re in,” Quinn said. “Anytime we have an issue we will talk with them, and they can talk to the people on the base, so we’re be able to get the information out.

“They teach us mannerisms,” he continued. “We may think somebody driving around in a truck off base is suspicious, but then our Jordanian counterparts tell us that is a normal day-to-day operation. They help us better understand the culture because they live and breathe it every single day.”

The U.S. service members aren’t alone when it comes to benefiting from working so closely together.

“I’ve learned a lot of things with the U.S. military,” said Royal Jordanian Air Force Lt. Burhan A S Aboelrob, JDOC controller. “I’ve learned how they dispatch and prioritize their security patrols, ranging from routine patrols to emergency responses. I have also learned how they coordinate with different agencies within the JDOC such as fire, Dutch force protection and German personnel.

“It’s important for us to work together because it increases our security capabilities to handle threats within the area,” he added. “It’s also important to work together because it strengthens our coalition partnership and paves the way for joint operations.”

The cooperation between the two armed forces to ensure base security is only a small instance of the U.S. and Jordanian governments’ strategic partnership. By working with our local partners and with the full support of a regional and international coalition, missions blunting the momentum of ISIS and systematically degrading their capabilities continue uninterrupted.