Misawa defenders secure PACAF-level award

The two-day 35th Security Forces Squadron Winter Warrior Challenge kicked off early morning, Dec. 13, during a thick snow storm at Misawa Air Base.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Alexia Hickson, a 35th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, and MWD Charly share a moment prior to completing the combat fitness assessment of the Winter Warrior Challenge at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Dec. 13, 2017. Hickson and Charly won first place for the MWD portion of the Winter Warrior Challenge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Melanie Hutto)

The two-day 35th Security Forces Squadron Winter Warrior Challenge kicked off early morning, Dec. 13, during a thick snow storm at Misawa Air Base.

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. James Ashby, the 35th Security Forces Squadron NCO in charge of training and combative instructor, referees the combatives tournament of the Winter Warrior Challenge at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Dec. 14, 2017. The competition covered mental and physical fitness, focusing on skills that Airmen are familiar with during routine operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Melanie Hutto)

Sweating away the pain

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Adam Renteria, a 35th Logistics Readiness Squadron fleet management and analysis journeyman, takes a break during the red man challenge at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Aug. 21, 2017. This training is a part of the 35th Security Forces Squadron augmentee course, which provides Airmen from various careers a crash course experience of critical security forces skills. Upon course completion, Airmen could be called on to perform 35th SFS duties if there is a need for additional personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Deana Heitzman)

The two-day 35th Security Forces Squadron Winter Warrior Challenge kicked off early morning, Dec. 13, during a thick snow storm at Misawa Air Base.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Dennis Kim, a 35th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, and MWD Drake low crawl through an obstacle during the Winter Warrior Challenge at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Dec. 13, 2017. The MWD handlers wore individual protective equipment and a ruck sack with water and veterinarian medical supplies weighing around 55 pounds throughout the competition. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Melanie Hutto)

Waiting quietly

U.S. Air Force military working dog Ramos waits for a checkup at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Oct. 30, 2017. Routine checkups for MWDs ensure they are medically fit to fight. During a checkup, MWDs receive needed vaccinations, look for possible parasites and undergo a general wellness screening. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Brittany A. Chase)

Master Sgt. Bruce Rick is the Pacific Air Forces Outstanding Security Forces Flight Level Senior NCO of the Year.

Master Sgt. Bruce Rick, the NCO in charge of integrated defense with the 35th Security Forces Squadron, pauses for a photo with SFS Airmen, Nov. 18, 2017, at Misawa Air Base, Japan. Pacific Air Forces selected Rick as the Outstanding Security Forces Flight Level Senior NCO of the Year. Rick attribute this award to the hard work and sacrifice of Cerberus Flight Airmen and NCOs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Melanie A. Hutto)

Donning the red man suit

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Johnathan Rogers, a 35th Security Forces Squadron unit training scheduler, dons a red man suit during an augmentee course at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Aug. 21, 2017. The red man training exercise included learning how to use a baton for exercise and real-world scenarios. The augmentee course also covers security forces concepts, operations, weapons safety, use of lethal or non-lethal force, communication procedures, handcuffing vehicle searches and other tasks Airmen may encounter on-duty. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Deana Heitzman)

Senior Airman Brittany A. Chase --

Team Misawa’s 35th Security Forces Squadron received the Pacific Air Forces’ outstanding medium security forces unit of 2017, beating nine other bases in the command.

The squadron consists of 225 U.S. Air Force active duty, civilian and Japanese national members divided among three flights, with two elements each.

The SFS team safeguarded approximately 11,500 Status of Forces Agreement personnel and $3.5 billion in Department of Defense assets.

It's an awesome recognition and it shows our squadron works really hard,” said Senior Airman Ashley Raymon, a 35th SFS base defense operations center controller. “Even though I might not always understand why we do certain things a certain way, it makes sense now and it feels great knowing I played a role in that.”

Over the 2017 calendar year, they led a wing-wide operation plan to increase forward deployment capabilities and designed the first wing co-operations and base cluster operation center to allow seamless integration and communication with their Japanese counterparts.

“The professionalism of the Airmen, NCOs and officers of the 35th SFS was the driving factor behind getting this award,” said Master Sgt. Bruce Rick, the 35th SFS integrated defense NCO in charge. “All members and direct leadership from our NCO corps made this year a success by improving our community relationships, our law enforcement and warfighting capabilities.”

They also led the Government of Japan and U.S. customs program on base, saving $23.5 million.

 “Now I realize how much coming to work every day and doing my job really does pay off,” Raymon explained while contributing the win to the whole squadron. “It's [incredible] to be recognized not just in Misawa, but throughout PACAF.”

Being number one in PACAF is not a new accomplishment, as they also came out victorious against 10 security forces teams and one Army military police unit in the second annual advanced combat skills assessment.

Because of the win at the PACAF level, the 35th SFS will go on to compete for the Air Force-level award.

“This award is recognition of the tireless, intelligent and aggressive approach our Airmen take to protect the 35th Fighter Wing,” said Maj. Patrick Gordon, the 35th SFS commander. “It is also a message of assurance to our community and our allies. They are guarded by some of the best Defenders in the Pacific.”