AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar --
U.S. Air Force Airmen with the 379th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron organized a week of law enforcement activities to honor fallen Security Forces Airmen and U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations agents who died in the line of duty.
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed Public Law 87-726 that declared May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day. Each year, civilian and military law enforcement agencies host a wide range of events which honor the fallen police officers from their stations and worldwide. The 379th ESFS conducted police week activities from May 15 – May 19, 2017.
“Deployed locations are inherently dangerous,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Brandon Thomas, supply non-commissioned officer in charge with the 379th ESFS and organizer of Al Udeid’ s police week. “I wanted to make sure that even though we are in a deployed location, that we still took the time to honor all fallen law enforcement officers and OSI agents, whether they were military or civilian.”
The 379th ESFS is comprised of Air National Guard, active-duty airmen and reservists working side-by-side. Some of the guardsmen who are defending the base put on a law enforcement uniform when they are not performing military duties back home.
“We have guard [Air National Guard units] here and a lot of them are police officers at home. They know people who have died in the line of duty,” said Thomas.
Throughout the week, Thomas along with other airmen, participated in events that showcased the capabilities of the 379th ESFS which; included: ruck march to remember the fallen; a top shot building clearing contest; demonstrations of military working dog, an RQ-11 Raven small unmanned aircrafts system demo; and a display of the weapons assigned to the 379th ESFS.
The week ended with the final guardmount ceremony. The final guardmount ceremony is a tradition where all members of security forces pay tribute to fallen Security Forces Airmen and U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations agents who died in the line of duty by calling out their names as the flight sergeant conducts roll call. Twelve OSI agents and 14 Security Forces members were honored for sacrificing their lives for their country, state, and community.
“It is an honor for me and my team to be chosen by my leadership and given the task of organizing these events for police week,” reflected Thomas. “We wanted to show the base populace through each event that we, as the 379th ESFS, support fallen law enforcement officers and their families, and that we will continue to carry on their legacy.”