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Army ready for MacDill missions

by Master Sgt. Scott Elliott
Air Force Print News

Dozens of suspects were arrested and handcuffed and multiple explosive devices were found on several vehicles Tuesday, as Air Force and Army security forces swarmed around the south end of the base runway.

The threats were not real, nor were the explosives, but you wouldn't know it from the high level of enthusiasm among the Army reservists training to begin their new job assisting with MacDill's security.

A battalion of reservists from the 265th Air Defense Artillery arrived last week and, after three days of classroom training, took to the field under the guidance of 6th Security Forces Squadron. The soldiers, who are replacing air reservists rotating out of MacDill, are scheduled to be on the job Saturday manning checkpoints and patrolling the base.

Army Command Sgt. Major Robert Hostford said force protection is part of what the battalion prepares for as part of its mission and the soldiers could not be more pumped up.

"They are very enthusiastic," said Hostford, as reservists poked and inspected inside and outside several vehicles and practiced patting down and handcuffing each other.

Hostford added he is looking forward to a year of working with Air Force security forces. He complimented security force trainers for their professionalism. "The cadre of Air Force personnel is top-notch," he said.

Col. Dave "Tanker" Snyder, 6th Air Mobility Wing commander, said the soldiers are welcome.

"This is a great example of of the services working together in the spirit of joint operations and inter-service cooperation," he said. "The basic training each of these soldiers receives coupled with their mobilization training qualifies them for the duties they will be assigned. In fact, some of these same soldiers served during the airport security mission "Operation Safe Skies." We're just happy to have them on the team."

Tech. Sgt. James Snapp, cadre leader for the wing security forces, said the training has been going "great."

"It's a testimonial to the NCOs and soldiers," said Snapp. "They are motivated and working hard to learn, even though we are cramming a lot on them in a very short time."

 

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