HomeNewsArticle Display

Providing a FAST deployment role

Senior Airman Andrew Beer secures the landing area around a C-130 Hercules Nov. 2, 2013, at a deployed location while serving as a Fly-Away Security Team member in Southwest Asia. Beer is a 50th Security Forces Squadron member. (Courtesy photo)

Senior Airman Andrew Beer secures the landing area around a C-130 Hercules Nov. 2, 2013, at a deployed location while serving as a Fly-Away Security Team member in Southwest Asia. Beer is a 50th Security Forces Squadron member. (Courtesy photo)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AFNS) -- (This feature is part of the "Through Airmen's Eyes" series on AF.mil. These stories focus on a single Airman, highlighting their Air Force story.)

Security forces Airmen deploy a lot. It's part of the job.

Tech. Sgt. Shaun Bush has deployed five times during his 11 years as a security forces Airman.

That experience is one reason Air Force leaders tasked him to lead a team for more than 200 days during his most recent deployment to Southwest Asia.

In all, 10 Airmen assigned to the 50th Security Forces Squadron deployed alongside him between June and December 2013. Together, they composed what's known as a Fly-Away Security Team.

Air Force FAST teams play a crucial role in protecting aircrews and airplanes in hostile areas. They fly on specific missions to various deployed locations to ensure the safety and security of aircraft and crew members.

"We trained specifically on how to perform the FAST mission, how to handle ourselves, how to secure others, the flight, the airplane the air crew and passengers," Bush said. "It's a vitally important job because a pilot is not trained in hand-to-hand combat, nor is he or she trained to handle things that we are trained to handle. A loadmaster is there to manage the plane's cargo, not worry about security. That task lies with us. We're there to make sure the crew members can focus on their jobs."

A FAST assignment requires specific skills. Security forces Airmen must complete Evasion Conduct After Capture and FAST training prior to deploying.

Bush said this particular team, known as the 451st Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron FAST, provided flight deck and perimeter security for C-130 Hercules and crews as they conducted air operations. The team flew more than 700 missions, 2,400 sorties and transported more than 23,500 people, including 55 detainees. Their missions carried 11,000 tons of cargo to 24 different landing zones in seven countries.

"It was exciting for sure," Bush said. "We were operating at a time when green-on-blue attack scenarios were dominating news headlines. Many times, we landed on dirt runways, in locations where our team made up the full extent of security on the ground."

The team also worked an extremely high operations tempo as the U.S. military conducted drawdown operations in the region.

Upon returning to Schriever AFB, every member of the team received a medal and Bush, now a 50th Space Wing Inspector General inspector, said their deployed commander was extremely appreciative of the team's service.

"There were a lot of long days," Bush said. "But, given the opportunity, I would do it again in a heartbeat. We moved a lot of people -- our people out and host country soldiers in."

Bush's team was the second of three FAST teams to deploy from the 50th SFS in the past three years.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
A #VietnamWar vet & #PurpleHeart recipient, discussed with @RAFMildenhall #Airmen how tragedy on the battlefield of… https://t.co/Y0uMVhAKrW
RT @andclev: .@SecAFOfficial says the @usairforce is going to have a pitch day on March 6-7, aiming to attract small, innovative businesses…
With the help of #Airmen all across the #AirForce, @TeamTyndall's munitions flight have assessed their munitions fa… https://t.co/R46vj2thnD
.@NASA Researchers came to the @AFResearchLab with a simple question. How does an electrical arc behave in a vacuum… https://t.co/GwJzzRgy8X
The Logistics Career Broadening Program, it's a little known program for company grade logistics officers that pack… https://t.co/LinlGkV6Ps
.@USArmy commends two #JTACs for their exceptional support in a no-notice joint mission. @BagramAirfieldhttps://t.co/awesogZyIR
Our thoughts are with the Airmen and their families who are affected by this loss. https://t.co/MCclu2wPZz
A sea of green, tan, cameo and shades of gray flooded @EielsonAirForce for the ultimate meeting of the minds during… https://t.co/Nlsz6JsHKv
.@NellisAFB Airfield management #Airmen attention to detail and sense of urgency keep Nellis flying.… https://t.co/MbD5EnHjV7
The initial assessment of #HurricaneMichael's aftermath was bleak, but more than a month later, the outlook has tak… https://t.co/cZBfWX8Yca
RT @DeptofDefense: Meet the Lees family. Three brothers and a sister, who have all decided to join the military. Today, Rose Lees tells us…
.@USOPM has announced Federal Benefits Open Season. Enrollment period began November 12 and runs through December 1… https://t.co/XDIVrG0GFX
U.S. military volunteers donated desks & school supplies to a Nigerian school. @USArmy #USAF #Airmen @HQUSAFEPAhttps://t.co/QScOTGS9UP
A #USAF #C130 became the first U.S. aircraft to drop #Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldiers on Hiju-dai drop zon… https://t.co/ErD7kQrHck
#AirForce Pararescue #Airmen @BagramAirfield conducted flight medical training with the help of volunteers from the… https://t.co/qtcvk61eyC