The New Centurions
By Airman 1st Class Solomon Cook, 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published September 29, 2015
TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Centurion is a title that goes back to the time of the Caesars. In that era a Centurion was the principal professional officer in the armies of ancient Rome and its empire. They formed the backbone of the legion and were responsible for enforcing discipline.
In this day and age, it is what the professionals of the 325th Security Forces Squadron call themselves. These new Centurions are charged with the duty of protecting the Airmen and assets that train and project unrivaled combat airpower.
The 325th SFS is one of six squadrons assigned to the 325th Mission Support Group, 325th Fighter Wing, here at Tyndall. The squadron provides force protection programs to include weapon system security, police services, canine section, resource protection and antiterrorism for a 29,000-acre base with 129 miles of shoreline for the 325th FW and 30 associate units. The squadron oversees personnel, information, and industrial security procedures for more than 6,700 assigned personnel. The 325th SFS also maintains a wartime and contingency rapid deployment capability to conduct force protection operations worldwide.
"My daily operations consist of protecting and defending the base," said Staff Sgt. Deon Smith, 325th Security Forces Squadron security response member. "As security forces members we are the first line of detection to any threat. So most of the day I am conducting traffic stops, building checks, response to medical emergencies, fire alarms, and last but not least checking the welfare of my subordinates ."
"To simplify - our job is to provide unmatched integrated defense for Team Tyndall through operationally focused, combat ready airmen," Smith added.
The 325th SFS is manned by approximately 300 members and broken into five sections: administrative, intelligence, operations and training, logistics, and plans and programs.
Throughout all the sections, the Centurions practice how they play - obtaining professional certifications and honing skills of attention to detail that last a life time.
"School house training and on-the-job training have taught me that in this career field you should always follow your instinct and fall back on what you have learned," said Airman 1st Class Anthony Coleman, 325th SFS security response member. "In the split-second decisions we must make every day, there is no time to sit around and think about what must be done. There is only time for reactions to be made. Also, it has taught me that you must trust your wingman to have your back at all times. By trusting our wingman, we as defenders are able to complete our mission more efficiently and effectively."
Although it is a job with long hours that may take Airmen away from their families, they find solace within their unit that gets them through the arduous days.
"The greatest hardship of being a security forces member is the long hours put into the job and the time spent away from family," Coleman said. "This hardship is lessened by having the ability of turning to our flight members; we gain a whole new family and support system. This allows us to overcome any other obstacle that we may face in the future."
Although a difficult job at times, Centurions charge - always forward, handling all tasks put before them.
"Without Security Forces defending the people and assets of the installation, the mission of the United States Air Force would not get completed," Coleman said. "The aircraft are at their most vulnerable point when they are on the ground, which is why we as defenders work around the clock to ensure the protection of these assets. I enjoy the new challenges that are presented each and every day, as well as the opportunity to get to interact with the families of Tyndall."