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36th SFS catches poachers

  • Published
  • By Maj. Erik Goepner
  • 36th Security Forces Squadron commander
"Dog off leash!" someone shouted. 

Just a few seconds later, Military Working Dog Freddy was guarding a very nervous poacher. 

Recently, members of the 36th Security Forces Squadron detained three men for poaching and trespassing on base. 

Staff Sgt. Roberto Cheeseboro, 36th SFS military working dog handler, had released MWD Freddy after the poacher disobeyed his order to halt and attempted to flee further into the jungle. 

Shortly after, Sergeant Cheeseboro and Staff Sgt. Jason Bateman, an investigator with the 36th SFS, detained the poacher. They also detained another poacher, who had wedged himself under a fallen tree trying to hide. 

When the operation concluded, security forces had detained three individuals and seized two loaded shotguns. 

The night began when a solo poacher was detected. He also disobeyed the security forces order to halt and attempted to flee. Staff Sgt. Charles Freeman, a security forces' flight chief, tackled him. He was assisted by two other Defenders, Airman 1st Class Todd Robinson and Airman Thomas Bureau. 

"Chasing a trespasser/poacher through the jungle and detaining them is something I never thought I'd be doing," said Airman Robinson. "It was by far the biggest adrenaline rush I've experienced since being in the Air Force." 

Approximately 30 Defenders descended into the jungle, supported by thermal imagers, night vision devices and other technology. Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Two Five also participated, providing their airborne detection capability. 

"It was a great showcase of how 'integrated' our Integrated Base Defense is," observed Col. Wilfred Cassidy, 36th Mission Support Group commander. "We had the latest technology, the tried and true capability of the military working dog, and our Navy counterparts working together with a lot of security forces energy to detect and detain the poachers." 

Colonel Cassidy was also on the counter-poaching operation. He detected the loaded shotgun the poachers had tried to hide along the path, knowing they would face a potentially stiffer sentence if found on Andersen with a firearm. 

A truly integrated force - also on the team were 2nd Lt. Jonathan French, 36th MSG executive officer, and Chief Master Sgt. Joseph Riff, 36th MSG superintendent. Each provided key contributions to the detection, detention and search of the two poachers.
"I'm extremely proud of our Defenders, especially because they were all volunteers," said Senior Master Sgt. Ray Johnson, 36th SFS operations superintendent. "This is how they wanted to spend their evening - patrolling the jungle, providing rock-solid force protection. It motivates you!"

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