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Defender, Right Out the Gate

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Joao Marcus Costa
  • 378th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

All bases in the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility possess a variety of defenses that are ready to protect the base and its personnel. One such defense is the Base Air Defense Center, an all-active visualization cell able to detect, track and defeat small Unmanned Aerial Systems headed to the base. The teams who man the BADC work around the clock to support a mission that requires quick responses and constant vigilance.

The level of responsibility for such a position is primarily reserved for more seasoned security forces Airmen, but within the BADC team at Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia, is a defender who only recently graduated from security forces technical school.

Airman 1st Class Cameron Teate, 378th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron counter small unmanned aircraft systems operator, will hit his one-year mark of graduating from tech school in April. As an Airman who has spent more time deployed than at his first duty station at McConnell Air Base, Kansas, Teate has been offered a unique opportunity to cultivate his early career at PSAB while completing his personal mission of keeping people safe.

“My mother is a teacher, and my dad was in the forestry,” said Teate. “Seeing my dad help people as a firefighter really inspired me.”

Teate knew early in his life that he wanted to help people. When he learned about the security forces mission while meeting with an Air Force recruiter, he felt like he found the job he was looking for.

At McConnell AFB, Teate gained experience in patrolling and guarding base entry points. But his time there was about to be cut short, as Teate recalls being called into his supervisor's office.

“My fourth month there, one of the flight chiefs asked if we would rather work days or mids. I asked why and he replied that I just got tasked for deployment,” said Teate. “I thanked him and asked if I could be excused. I tried to keep composed but I was so excited.”

Upon arrival to PSAB, Teate was assigned to the BADC, where he currently operates a variety of systems with detect and defeat capabilities, enabling the team to counter any sUAS; a lot of responsibility for a new Airman, but Teate has more than proved himself.

“He finishes everything he sets out to do and tries to make it better,” said Tech. Sgt. Joseph Snead, 378 ESFS counter sUAS watch officer. “We have a simulator and Teate has been the main guy running it. He spends time learning it and reaching out to others. Small things like that show performance at a high level.”

Working at the BADC his entire deployment, Teate has added to the team’s success in recent months by creating four Tactics, Technics, and Procedures, four continuity binders and has also taught others how to operate the system that runs simulations.

By working hard, finding ways to improve and setting up the next team for success, Teate and his team have aced pivotal base exercises and their TTPs have become the new standard for the AOR.

“We had two four-star-generals [visit] that wanted to just see us,” said Teate. “We have gone from not understanding how to use the system, to now being able to stop, in a sense, an unstoppable force.”

When not at the BADC, Teate consistently works to better himself. So far, Teate has finished his Community College of the Air Force degree, participates in the Rising Four, rucks and takes leadership classes. While his deployment has been full of achievements and learning experiences, Teate is excited to bring his experiences back home to McConnell AFB.

“I hope to bring a new lifestyle to my security forces unit back home,” said Teate. “By sharing what I’ve learned here, that it’s not just about ground defense but aerial as well. I want to help elevate all [security forces Airman] as a force of one.”