Air Force security transfers authority to Army
By Master Sgt. Martie Moore, 506th Air Expeditionary Group Public Affairs
/ Published June 01, 2010
KIRKUK REGIONAL AIR BASE, Iraq (AFNS) --
Members of the 506th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron here transferred authority for base security to Soldiers from the 1st Special Troops Battalion during a ceremony here May 28. In addition to the transfer of authority, the 506th ESFS was officially inactivated.
506th ESFS Airmen ensured the overall security of more than 7,000 personnel and 1.5 billion dollars of coalition forces assets. During this deployment rotation the squadron consisted of more than 300 active, Guard and Reserve Airmen from 36 different military installations.
"It's a testament to their skill, training and professionalism that you can take elements from separate units, put them together, and they hit the ground as one cohesive unit - remarkable," said Lt. Col. Theodore Ruminsky, the 506th ESFS commander.
During the ceremony Colonel Ruminsky highlighted some of the countless accomplishments of his squadron.
"We have provided positive entry control and screening for more than 16,000 vehicles. Ensuring positive entry control is a team effort. Security is a team sport," Colonel Ruminsky said. "The 16,000 vehicles do not include the dozens, sometimes hundreds, of U.S. and coalition force vehicles that are checked in and out of the base, every day. This unit developed and oversaw the construction of a new personnel screening facility which increased manpower efficiency and security of the base and we implemented biometric identification and enrollment capabilities to the screening process, greatly enhancing base security."
As Kirkuk Regional Air Base transitions through the responsible drawdown of U.S. forces in Iraq, the special troops battalion will assume the additional responsibility for base defense. Army Col. Patricia Sellers, from the 1st Special Troops Battalion, Ready First Combat Team said she appreciated the continued teamwork through this time of change.
"Their expertise and professionalism is world-class," Colonel Sellers said. "The 506th (Airmen here) been protecting and serving the base for many years."
The 506th ESFS is the first Air Force unit to fully withdraw from Kirkuk Regional Air Base since the build-up of forces began April 23, 2003, nearly one month after Operation Iraqi Freedom started.
"To the Army and the new security team, we wish you quiet nights and peaceful days, and to the men and women of the 506th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron, thank you for your service. Thank you for your support. Outstanding work, defenders," Colonel Ruminsky said.