News>Feature - '300' Airmen provide world-class base defense
Brig. Gen. Charles W. Lyon (left) watches as a 64th Air Expeditionary Group explosive ordnance disposal robot prepares to enter a building to defuse a simulted improvised explosive device during a base exercise Aug. 20 at a foward deployed location in Southwest Asia. General Lyon is the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing commander. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Teresa Sullivan)
Security forces Airmen with the 64th Air Expeditionary Group demonstrate how to infiltrate a house in an urban environment Aug. 20 at a foward deployed location in Southwest Aisa. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Evangeline Guidry)
A security forces Airman with the 64th Air Expeditionary Group stands watch over fellow Airmen as they infiltrate a building during an exercise Aug. 20 in Southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Teresa Sullivan)
by Capt. Teresa Sullivan
379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
8/30/2007 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFPN) -- Airmen of the 64th Air Expeditionary Group's "300" provide world-class base defense, displaying a Spartan warrior spirit at a remotely located base assigned to the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing in Southwest Asia.
The group is made up of about 300 security forces, support Airmen and civilians. Their mission is to stand guard all day, every day, providing integrated defense, emergency response and combat support for the base, which houses military and host-nation tenant agencies. Most days the Airmen are fighting the war on terrorism in temperatures of more than 100 degrees.
This tight-knit pack of Airmen, known as the "300," recently adopted their mantra from the movie of the same name due to the strong team-forging tenants displayed in the film.
The Airmen are similar to the Spartans of Ancient Greece and its ultimate fighters who fought a vast Persian army in 480 B.C, said Col. Keith Moncrief, the 64th Air Expeditionary Group commander.
"This is the most energized group of Airmen on the planet and I'm glad to be here. My two squadron commanders are Airmen of extremely strong character and are relentless in their pursuit of excellence," the colonel said. "This group embodies the 'small team' leadership of the technical sergeants and below. The 300 Spartans of the 64th AEG wouldn't have rocked air and space expeditionary force 7 and 8 without that."
"The Spartan unity, fit-to-fight mandate, warrior spirit and ability to face danger embody our team here at the 64th AEG," said 1st Lt. Steven Payne, the 64th AEG executive officer. "The concept is a good fit for us because we have about 300 Airmen who will do what it takes to defend our terrain in our narrow little spot in the world."
During a recent visit by Brig. Gen. Charles W. Lyon, the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing commander, the 64th AEG demonstrated their capabilities during a base defense exercise.
The exercise began on queue when the Base Defense Operations Center was notified of a possible situation. Immediately, the group's security forces and quick reaction force responded to a mock perpetrator strapped with explosives who crossed the wire and hid inside a building. The QRF team, comparable to a SWAT team, responded by breaching the building with force and determined explosive ordnance disposal assistance was necessary. EOD Airmen wheeled in an EOD robot to safely disarm the perpetrator. Within minutes, they apprehended the suspect and the situation was neutralized efficiently and effectively.
"You're about strength.You're about deterrence. You're one of the hardest targets in the theater and you do it with professionalism and vigilance," General Lyon told the base defenders. "Every base would love to have you guarding it. You represent the most professional force with the highest of standards."
Because you can put your head down at night without fear or danger means you've done your job, said General Lyon to the Airmen of the group.