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Security Forces: How do you stay alert?

Discussion in 'The US Air Force Forum' started by RF7126, Aug 14, 2006.

  1. RF7126

    RF7126

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    How do you guys in Security Forces stay alert after doing guard duty for several hours? Do you have enough space to walk around when not on a gate? Are there rotating shifts so you don't spend too much time looking at the same fence?

    I'm currently still in college but after I get my degree I plan on enlisting in the AF (tried ROTC, not my thing), and I would like to be Security Forces as I have a passion for law enforcement and security. However, I'm worried that I'll be bored to death and regret my decision. My current security job is access control (maybe 1 car an hour until shift change) and if I don't bring something to do I go nuts.

    Is Security Forces something that can keep your interest and not drive you up the wall with boredom? I have no problem checking IDs for 8hrs as long as I'm doing something, it's not so much the type of work as not having any work to do.

    I don't mean for this question to sound disrespectful, I have the utmost respect for you guys, especially since I'll bet the job is considerably more demanding than most people realize.
     
  2. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy ********* Moderator Moderator Millennium Member Lifetime Member

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    1. Talking. Every person in SF has a life story and in an 8 hour shift, you generally hear it. If you're bored enough and if there's enough of you in the vehicle or shack, you generally hear about every girl/guy they've ever dated, slept with, thought about sleeping with or wanted to sleep with. Including pros and cons of brunettes blondes, redheads, Asians, blacks, etc.

    SF guys and girls are not like The Rest Of The Air Force, as i told someone (civvy contractor) once, if an office commando farts at work they excuse themself. If a cop farts in a Humvee (especially the gunner) they're usually slapped, ridiculed, and then judged on volume, sound, length, and smell. We're odd like that.

    2. If you're working a gate most traffic flow is enough to where you stay busy (main gates at least) I like working gates for this reason.

    3. If you're a security patrol, driving around. Including drag racing Humvees up and down just because.

    4. If you're a fire team in a Humvee, like I was in yesterday, repeatedly banging your head on the inside of the turret as the gunner can keep you awake. :) Seriously. They pad it for a reason. :rollsmiley:


    Bringing lots of caffeine. Energy drinks and Gatorade, chips, etc.

    Mental games.

    Depending on your base, flight, leadership and whether there's an inspection going on, reading material, from CDCs and OIs (officially approved) to unofficial stuff (books, MP3 players, hell even laptops on some night shifts I've seen) Some flight chiefs and LTs (not mine, I work days) would rather have them awake and paying attention to SOMETHING than bored to death and passed out.

    Usually it's 2-man patrol and they go 1 up 1 down (1 observing, the other reading or whatever).
     

  3. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy ********* Moderator Moderator Millennium Member Lifetime Member

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    There's also the joys of jacking up (proning out/frisking etc) maintenance troops for not doing what they're supposed to (widespread) i.e not wearing restricted area badges when they step away from working on an aircraft. Going 10-20 feet is fine getting something but leaving the hangar and walking halfway across an aircraft loop without it is another.

    Some guys don't even bother anymore since they never, ever learn, but when you're bored, it gives you something to do. You can either roll up and warn them (usual) or if you're really bored do the complete dive out, M4 up "Turn 180 degrees from the sound of my voice! using your left hand pull out your ID! Throw it on teh ground! Step away!" thing.


    One day me and a guy discovered on an incredibly slow Sunday morning it took 22 minutes and 12 seconds to idle an F150 around an aircraft loop (put in drive no touch gas).
     
  4. meeko

    meeko

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    Powers of the mind. I don't care who you are if you have ever really worked flight duty as a Security Forces member you have gotten "wobblly headed" a time or two. If you say you haven't your either lieing or you haven't worked flight! Just like anywhere try to stay focased. Also a good off duty physical fitness routine helps. I find guys are less tired if they consistantly (normal)work out and eat right. It is hard sometimes working odd hours to find or make the time to get to the gym. Get a normal amount of sleep for yourself. It's easy to short yourself when you get home at 7:00 am and want to stay up to enjoy all of the day and think a 2 hour nap from 7:30-9:30 pm will get you by. It wont trust me.
     
  5. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy ********* Moderator Moderator Millennium Member Lifetime Member

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    Yup.

    Pushups always wake you up too. There's a reason I can do 64 a minute now. :)
     
  6. RF7126

    RF7126

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    Thanks for the replies, I'm glad to know I'm normal after all. I was beginning to think I had ADD. :supergrin: I can't wait to get started!
     
  7. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy ********* Moderator Moderator Millennium Member Lifetime Member

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    Oh yes you can.... trust us! :)



    Today I went to sleep at 10pm, woke at 3:40am, was at work at 6am, was in the turret behind a M240B from 7:30am till about 2pm in helmet and body armor, then waited around and had a commander's call (standing for another hour) with the base commander till 5pm.

    And this is a short day.
     
  8. meeko

    meeko

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    Enjoyed my active duty and ANG time but thats why I'm glad I work for a civillian agency. If you have to stay longer they pay you, what a concept! It does get a little easyer with the more rank you make. Of course I could do without some of the petty drama or spot fires you have to put out or the personalities to deal with as a supervisor but it's not bad. i look at it this way. there wasn't one day that I didn't come to work and something not make me laugh. there are some stupid stupid people. You will see in fact I'll go one step farther and say with all of the people you will see stepping on themselves any minimal amount of screwing off is covered. It dosn't take to much effort to fly under the radar.
     
  9. Glockster35

    Glockster35 Silvrst8hlstr

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    I have found that there is only one sure fire way to stay alert on a long 12-14 hour shift.

    Keep your mouth running, and your ears open to listen to your Alpha's B.S. stories.

    In about 5 minutes, I can tell if I will ever get a long with someone, or if I would be better off charging the weapon, and sticking it in my mouth.

    Now, I have to ask, if you are going to college, and getting a degree, are you planning to enlist or become commissioned (I read enlist)?

    As an officer (commissioned) you would rarely have the opportunity to ride a patrol or work on the flightline. The vast majority of SF Officers are desk jockeys.

    I would highly encourage you to take the route that would make you happiest in the long run (read as $$$$$)! Althoough doign a few years as an enlisted troopie then getting commissioned would mean as a lieutenant, you would be making more based on being proir enlisted. Although in the long run, you will be older than most of the other LT's.

    These are decisions you need to take seriously, because they will have a definate impact on your life!
     
  10. RF7126

    RF7126

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    Glockster35,
    I plan to enlist after graduation (E-3 as I understand it?). I feel somewhat foolish when I tell the story but ... I had a ROTC scholarship but as I found out more about what I was going to be doing I dropped it right before I was legally committed to anything other than paying back the tuition. It's a H*LLUVA lot harder now without the money from ROTC, but I despise administration/desks and was depressed when time I thought about being stuck behind a desk every day. I kept hearing stories from a friend who was enlisted in Security Forces and another in Marine security and I was constantly jealous of what they were doing every day. In addition to that, I'm just not a big fan of formal dinners, speeches, and all of the social requirements that seem to go along with being an officer.

    I used to do Civil Air Patrol search and rescue in high school (back when they were "high-speed" and worked closely with the USAF and law enforcement) so I know a little about wearing BDUs in 110 degree heat or 5 degree cold, and that somehow didn't bother me as much as a desk. I'd sure love the money -it's very hard financially right now- but job satisfaction is the most important thing for me.


    Thanks again for all the replies. MrMurphy- I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who reads the X-wing series. :supergrin:
     
  11. meeko

    meeko

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    If your going to do it do it over the toilet so your relief dosn't have to clean up the mess!

    In all seriousness I think we have all had an alpha or two we wanted to choke out or remind them we are not his family back home so stop with the fish stories.
     
  12. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy ********* Moderator Moderator Millennium Member Lifetime Member

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    Oh yes........



    Then there's the flight chief where the running joke among the squadron is that his mustache is his alpha. :supergrin:



    Then there's the ones that never say ANYTHING other than radio checks, where you're in the Humvee with them for an hour and have to look to see if they're breathing or eye movement. They kind of weird me out.
     
  13. Glockster35

    Glockster35 Silvrst8hlstr

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    had a dude once claim he could transpond himself to burger king from the WSA...he sat there without movement or sound for about 10 minutes...while he ate his cheeseburger!


    Weird friggin dude!
     
  14. meeko

    meeko

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    We had a tower operator call a 15 and 5 response (real world) in the Nuclear WSA about 3:00 am. He saw bigfoot looking over the fence with red glowing eyes (no joke) and called it in creaming. Where do we get these people from. Then another towe guy drank like two of those 20 oz 6 packs of coke a night and wondered why he got migrains. He was always needing relieved.
     
  15. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy ********* Moderator Moderator Millennium Member Lifetime Member

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    A guy who PCS'd a while back, when we pulled security for a munitions storage area off in the woods, responded to a open door on a bunker (big, heavy, 100+lb door) that had been securely locked on the last walkaround, and chased (along with his alpha) a guy through the facility.


    Then he apparently called it in on landline, saying he and his alpha had chased the guy through a fence. As in the guy ran right through a chain link fence and never stopped.

    The guy who told me this was in the control center and got the call, and the other guy who saw it (very unshakeable guy no BS type) was REALLY shook up about it.

    They're both (along with the alpha who also saw the dude) quite convinced they chased a ghost.
     
  16. meeko

    meeko

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    I know this is getting off thread but, I was told that at FE Warren WY the Security police group building was located in an old field hospital/morgue from the fort that was there in the 1800's. Several guys at Malmstrom with me had time at FE Warren and had some pretty good stories. that Z monster really messes with you when your tired.
     
  17. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy ********* Moderator Moderator Millennium Member Lifetime Member

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    This got started by a new Sgt from Korea and two others who had been there talking about some weird stuff they'd seen, but in this particular case, the guys hadn't been on duty more than an hour or two, were on a walking patrol and quite wide awake.


    Apparently in Kunsan off in the boonies somewhere, there's one post which was a 3 man post (2 guys, handler, puppy) and some guys started to refuse to want to post there after A. they heard/saw stuff (all 3 guys there) and then the DOG (normally unshakeable reliable dog, not a new one) started acting weird. As in it's seeing stuff nobody else does and is getting terrified and hiding in corners.


    Some weird stuff out there.
     
  18. RF7126

    RF7126

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    If you don't mind my asking, how often do you guys run into an actual threat (someone running the gate, jumping the fence, etc.) either stateside or overseas? I'll hear about one every once in a while but from the outside it seems to be very rare. I don't mean to break any sort of OPSEC but I'm curious.
     
  19. meeko

    meeko

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    Actually it was about 50/50. i was always at a nuke base so we didn't really have anyone really get out in the areas. A couple kids hit the fence once or twice. most of the stuff on active duty I saw was drama from flight members doing something stupid or threatining someone. Of course there are always domestics and DUI's when you work LE patrols.

    During my ANG time I think I've seen more of a real threat type thing. On active duty your enviorment is more controlled. People (troops) are generally more behaved. They have a military career/commander to answer to. On the ANG side most of us are located either across a runway from a civilian airport or have alot of non military conected civillians around to interact with. My ANG base in general we are the first line of contact (to investigate) people or activity either called in or our patrols see and investigate. The Michigan ANG Security Forces had an incident with a man of middle eastren decent last MAR. He was spotted around the base once. Then some days later he ran the gate. A chase insued and he was ultimatly shot to death. We hasve our share. My base has had an increase of activity of snoopping like that. Like active duty everything is sent to higher headquartes/OSI. We also have our DUI's and everything else as well.

    Overseas your hands can be tied a little bit. You must abide by the Host Nation Treaty. the country the base is in pretty much dictats what can and can't be done when you have to deal with that countrys citizens if you have to.


    One thing that causes confusion with the ANG is where we fall under. The ANG is both state and federal. If a state emergency happens the ANG like say Security Forces can be activated under State orders by the Governor. While activated on state orders the
    ANG can make arrests and detain. Under state orders is not a violation of Posse Commatatus (sp). It also helps that most of us are officers for civilian departments.
     
  20. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy ********* Moderator Moderator Millennium Member Lifetime Member

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    In my case, yeah, the locals have some say in what happens, but the local troops aren't "too" bad, they at least try (some of them).

    We had a rash of gate runners, and protesters, during the local elections things got kind of tense, host nation patrols etc were up over 50% from normal, doing "our kind of stuff" i.e random rolling patrols, troops patrolling the exterior of the base fence constantly, the local gate guards in body armor and helmet. We upped our routines as well but we were already far above what they were doing so it was mostly being a little more alert to something maybe happening.

    DUIs etc all the time, accidents, tickets etc. Nearly drew my 9mm on a stupid local who almost ran me over and crashed into the drop arm/bollard as I was signaling her (from 30 yards away) to stop and the big arm came down. She stopped with 2 inches from her windshield to the arm, over the speedbump in front of it and a few inches from my feet after I jumped back out of the way.