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JB MDL security forces man the gates
U.S. Navy masters at arms Sailors qualify on the M9 pistol at the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., ranges on May 21, 2011. They are completing both Navy and Air Force weapons qualifications to help augment the security forces on Joint Base MDL. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Airman 1st Class Dennis Sloan)
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Air Force, Navy security forces man the gates

Posted 5/26/2011   Updated 5/26/2011 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class Dennis L. Sloan
Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Public Affairs

5/26/2011 - JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. -- The 87th and 514th Security Forces Squadrons trained the Naval Reserve Security Forces unit to assist with the security procedures on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.
The Navy reserve unit has been organizing the training with the 87th and 514th SFS since February.

"The biggest hurdle we have faced is the clash of cultural differences between the Air Force and Navy," said Master Sgt. Ralph Tomeo, 514th SFS non-commissioned officer in charge of combat arms. "But we are working through them."

Prior to training, one of the biggest challenges the units had to overcome was the use of acronyms, service ranks and specific references. Another challenge was the Navy's expectations of their younger servicemembers.

The Navy's lowest ranking non-commissioned officer is an E-4, where as the lowest ranking Air Force NCO is an E-5, said Lt. j.g. Michael Gregory, Naval Reserve Security Forces commanding officer. As part of the cultural differences the communication barrier had to be worked through to complete the mission.

The Navy reserve unit has been performing patrols, investigations, base event security and guarding checkpoints under the supervision of the AF security forces. The reserve unit just completed weapons qualifications ranging from pistols to rifles, for both Navy and Air Force requirements May 21.

"We are co-mingling weapons training as well as other security forces procedures for both branches' requirements," said Tomeo. "Once we complete the training, the Navy counterparts will not only be able to fulfill Navy mission, but also fulfill the Air Force mission here at JB MDL."

The majority of Navy reservists are law enforcement personnel serving as police officers, Federal Air Marshalls, county sheriffs and even SWAT members. The reserve members from the unit have a combined 100 years of police service.

"We want to make 'joint base' not just a name but a function as well," said Gregory.

"After the Navy reserve unit has completed training and provided security assistance, they will have accumulated more than 500-man days of SFS support."

The idea to integrate the Navy security forces with the Air Force security forces started about two years ago. The Navy reservists will conduct patrols, investigations and man gates and checkpoints.

"With our assistance the joint base will have complete security for safer, sounder mission capabilities," said Gregory. "The Air Force has treated us with the upmost respect and has supplied us with great training that will only make us better."

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