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Seaman earns Vigilant Warrior honor

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Ray W. Johnson
  • 36th Security Forces Squadron
An Atsugi Naval Base, Japan seaman was coined by Col. Gregory Cain, 36th Wing vice commander, and received the Vigilant Warrior certificate from Lt. Col. Erik Goepner, 36th Security Forces Squadron commander and acting AFOSI Detachment 602 Acting Commander Maj. William Wehner.

Aviation Support Equipment Technician Second Class Willie L. Ratliff earned the honor for his role in reporting suspicious individuals taking unauthorized photos of the flightline in an exercise scenario.

Although the roleplayers in this scenario knew it wasn't real, AS2 Ratliff did not.

"This is the exact response we were looking for," said Master Sgt. select Myong Yi, 36th SFS NCOIC of Security Forces Standardization and Evaluation.

On Feb. 12, AS2 Ratliff was traveling down Arc Light Boulevard and noticed two suspicious individuals dressed as contractors. One person was on a ladder with a video camera filming flight line operations and the other was wearing a backpack taking notes. AS2 Ratliff took immediate action and notified a nearby military working dog patrol. Within two minutes, patrols responded, and the two individuals were detained and questioned. 

"We design these Vigilant Warrior exercises to help increase awareness and infuse the base populace into our integrated defense plan." Colonel Goepner said. "One of our greatest force multipliers we have in integrated defense are the thousands of warriors who are out there everyday. Whether they are working on the flight line or downtown in the local community, they are the eyes and ears of our integrated defense." 

However, that responsibility doesn't rest just with those permanently assigned to Team Andersen. 

"The protection of our resources and personnel is critical to the wing being able to execute our mission in a secure environment," said Colonel Cain. "It takes awareness and active involvement from everyone assigned, including all of our TDY forces."

If you see something suspicious, act on it by immediately calling the security forces control center at 366-2910 or 366-2911. Suspicious activities that may seem small, when pieced together and analyzed, could add up to something big. As a reminder, the seven reportable items under the Eagle Eyes program are: surveillance, elicitation, test of security, acquiring supplies, suspicious persons out of place, dry dun, and deploying assets. You could be the next Vigilant Warrior.