183rd Security Forces wins Outstanding ANG Security Forces Unit for 2009

  • Published
  • By Maj. James Robinson
  • 183rd Security Forces
It is a great privilege to announce that the 183rd Security Forces Squadron (SFS) was once again selected as one of the two Outstanding Air National Guard (ANG) Security Forces Units for 2009! This award recognizes the extraordinary contributions our unit has made to the U.S. Air Force and ANG missions to fly, fight, and win. Due to the large number (88) of Security Forces (SF) units in the ANG, the National Guard Bureau (NGB) is authorized to select two ANG SF units as outstanding. This year, the other unit is the 204th SFS which hails from Texas and is commanded by Lt. Col. Carl Alvarez. Within the coming weeks, NGB will select one of our two units as THE outstanding SF unit for the ANG.

The NGB has validated what we already knew; we have an outstanding SF unit. Over the last several years, each and every SF member has been working hard to improve our unit. We started down this road by excelling at the 2003 Operational Readiness Exercise, performing exceptionally well during three HQ Vulnerability Assessments (2004, 2006, 2009), and through a superior performance during the 2007 Unit Compliance Inspection. All of this was accomplished during a significant manning draw down, combined with a deployment tempo never before seen in the history of our unit. We've had members deploy to countries all over the world and consistently received feedback from the deployed leadership that the "183d Herd" led the way. During this award period, our unit had personnel deployed to two different countries while also stepping up to assume duties as the lead Quick Reaction Force for the Illinois National Guard Response Force. Despite high operations tempo and on-going inspections, each member met these challenges and excelled to a level this unit has never witnessed before. This is the second time in the wing's 60 year history that the Security Forces received this accolade; the first time being just two short years ago.

I received many phone calls and emails from friends across the nation congratulating me for receipt of this honor. But make no mistake, this award was earned by the enlisted force. The men and women of this organization work 24/7, weekends/holidays, and deploy more frequently and for longer periods than most specialties. This is all accomplished while sustaining an ops tempo like non-other. A quick snapshot of our deployment success reveals the following:
·Total Number of OCONUS deployments: 19
·Total Days Deployed (Cumulative): 21,345
·Total days SFS spent in AOR: 2,435
·Avg deployment length (in days, although current minimum is 180): 128
·Number of pers deployed to AOR since 9/11: 163
·Total OCONUS Countries Deployed To: 10
·Percent of current SFS members who have not deployed: 16 %
·Percent of current SFS members who have deployed multiple times: 47 %
·Number of pers with more than one deployment: 24
·Number of pers with 3 or more deployments: 13
·Most deployments made by one person: 6
·Percent of Squadron activated immediately after 9/11: 100 %
·Percent of Squadron deployed within 35 days of 9/11: 50 %
·Years SFS has been in AOR: 6.67

Regardless of how this chapter in our squadron's history turns out, I am proud of each and every one of our SF members. We have all come a long way together and selection of this award is a direct reflection of the hard work, sacrifice, and can-do attitude of our incredibly talented enlisted force. We have committed to one another that we will meet our never-ending drive towards excellence by ensuring we never rest on our laurels, and by challenging ourselves and each other to become even better than we are today. We owe ourselves, the squadron, wing and Air National Guard nothing less!