183d Security Forces Squadron earns state honors

  • Published
  • By Maj. James Robinson
  • 183d Security Forces Squadron
It has been an exciting time to be a member of the 183d Security Forces Squadron (SFS). In addition to being selected as one of two Air National Guard Outstanding Security Forces units for 2009, the squadron was recently selected as the National Guard Association of Illinois (NGAI) Outstanding Air National Guard unit for 2010! This is the first time in the wing's 63 year history that the security forces squadron has received this prestigious award. This award is presented to recognize one Army and one Air military organization for specific accomplishments and achievements of an outstanding nature relative to overall performance, NGAI support, and community activities.

Without a doubt, the 183d Security Forces Squadron is one of the finest security forces squadrons in the country and its members deserve all the credit for the accolades they are now receiving. But it wasn't always this way. A few short years ago (2003) I remember taking command of this squadron when it was clearly going through a rather tumultuous period. The previous commander had recently transferred to the Army National Guard, the chief had just retired, the unit did not have a senior master sergeant, and the unit didn't even have its own first sergeant. I had more time in service than any of my senior NCOs, and over 50% of the unit members were E4 or below!

To make matters worse, the person hired to replace the departing chief was a master sergeant, and I was a JEEP (Just Enough Education to Pass) second lieutenant taking his first command! Needless to say, with an Operational Readiness Exercise and subsequent Operational Readiness Inspection just a few short months away, members were very anxious and clearly concerned about the unit's future.

My, what a difference a few years make! Throughout the last several years the enlisted force rolled up their sleeves, pulled together as a team, and was dedicated to something bigger than themselves. They all made a concerted effort to turn the squadron around by striving towards becoming a center of excellence.

At times the journey has seemed long, and as we all know, striving for excellence is indeed a journey that should never actually come to an end. You see, once you rest on your laurels and start to buy-in to the notion that the journey is complete, that is when you're at the greatest risk of mediocrity.

Since those anxiety filled days of new leadership, exercises, and inspections, the security forces squadron has consistently excelled at multiple deployed locales, and excelled during numerous inspections, all while performing force protection and resource protection at home station. Although everyone is excited about receiving this latest honor, we know we must continue to train hard and continually rededicate ourselves to excellence. Not only do we want to continue to be a premier ANG Security Forces Squadron, but in a few short months, members from the 183d Herd will perform duties "outside the wire" in an austere and hostile environment.

Our dedicated and hard charging Defenders will be part of a mission that has never before been performed at this location by Air National Guard members.

I am very proud of the men and women of the 183d SFS and hope you'll join me in congratulating them as you see them while processing through the gate or throughout the base. Congratulations 183d SFS on another job well done!