AF Reserve News

Charleston Combat Camera teams take first, third in DoD competition
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. John Raven, assigned to 1st Combat Camera Squadron, climbs over a high bar during the obstacle course portion of the 2018 SPC Hilda I. Clayton Best Combat Camera Competition, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, May 1, 2018.The competition is an annual event open to all branches of the military, it’s hosted by the 55th Signal Company (Combat Camera) in order to test the technical and tactical proficiencies of Department of Defense combat photographers. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Pablo N. Piedra)
Charleston Combat Camera teams take first, third in DoD competition
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Lundborg, assigned to 4th Combat Camera Squadron, climbs a rope during the obstacle course portion of the 2018 SPC Hilda I. Clayton Best Combat Camera Competition, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, May 1, 2018.The competition is an annual event open to all branches of the military, it’s hosted by the 55th Signal Company (Combat Camera) in order to test the technical and tactical proficiencies of Department of Defense combat photographers. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Pablo N. Piedra)
Charleston Combat Camera teams take first, third in DoD competition
U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Keifer Bowes (left) and Airman 1st Class Matthew Zakrzewski, both assigned to 1st Combat Camera Squadron, run during the 10-mile road march part of the 2018 SPC Hilda I. Clayton Best Combat Camera Competition, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, May 3, 2018. The competition is an annual event open to all branches of the military, it's hosted by the 55th Signal Company (Combat Camera) in order to test the technical and tactical proficiencies of Department of Defense combat photographers. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Pablo N. Piedra)
Charleston Combat Camera teams take first, third in DoD competition
U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Franklin Harris (left) and Senior Airman Maygan Straight, both assigned to 1st Combat Camera Squadron, conduct the 10-mile road march part of the 2018 SPC Hilda I. Clayton Best Combat Camera Competition, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, May 3, 2018. The competition is an annual event open to all branches of the military, it's hosted by the 55th Signal Company (Combat Camera) in order to test the technical and tactical proficiencies of Department of Defense combat photographers. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Pablo N. Piedra)
Charleston Combat Camera teams take first, third in DoD competition
U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Maygan Straight (top), and Airman 1st Class Franklin Harris, both assigned to 1st Combat Camera Squadron, treat a simulated casualty during the Urban Warfare Simulation lane of the 2018 Hilda I. Clayton Best Combat Camera Competition, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, May 2, 2018. The competition is an annual event open to all branches of the military, it’s hosted by the 55th Signal Company (Combat Camera) in order to test the technical and tactical proficiencies of Department of Defense combat photographers. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Pablo N. Piedra)
Charleston Combat Camera teams take first, third in DoD competition
U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Maygan Straight, assigned to 1st Combat Camera Squadron, collects Sensitive Site Exploitation imagery during the Urban Warfare Simulation lane of the 2018 Hilda I. Clayton Best Combat Camera Competition, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, May 2, 2018. The competition is an annual event open to all branches of the military, it’s hosted by the 55th Signal Company (Combat Camera) in order to test the technical and tactical proficiencies of Department of Defense combat photographers. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Pablo N. Piedra)
Reserve Recruiting Service rolls out mobile marketing platform
Tech Sgt Jose Neri, a recruiter with Team March, works the pull up bar area of the new mobile marketing platform at the March Air Reserve Base Air and Space Expo.The MMP is an interactive a marketing tool that will increase awareness and audience engagement, generate leads, and educate influencers about the Air Force Reserve. (Air Force photo/Master Sgt Chance Babin)
Reserve Recruiting Service rolls out mobile marketing platform
A look at the new Air Force Reserve mobile marketing platform. The MMP is a marketing tool that will increase awareness and audience engagement, generate leads, and educate influencers about the Air Force Reserve. The MMP is equipped with large high definition touchscreen that feature interactive quizzes and games, and a photo booth for attendees to take photos against pre-loaded Air Force Reserve branded backdrops. It also features a pull-up bar for those looking for something more physical. A unique feature on the MMP is a charging station. (Air Force photo/Master Sgt Chance Babin)
AFRC Recruiting Service rolls out mobile marketing platform
Master Sgt Chuck Wandzilak, a recruiter at Team March, assists a air show guest with sending his photo to himsself as part of the Air Force Reserve photo booth, which is part of the new Air Force Reserve mobile marketing platform at the March Air Reserve Base Air and Space Expo. The MMP is an interactive a marketing tool that will increase awareness and audience engagement, generate leads, and educate influencers about the Air Force Reserve. (Air Force photo/Master Sgt Chance Babin)
AFRC Recruiting Service rolls out mobile marketing platform
Master Sgt Marcus Hearns, a recruiter at Team March, talks to an air show attendee at the charging station of the new Air Force Reserve mobile marketing platform at the March Air Reserve Base Air and Space Expo. The MMP is an interactive a marketing tool that will increase awareness and audience engagement, generate leads, and educate influencers about the Air Force Reserve. (Air Force photo/Master Sgt Chance Babin)

Airmen save missing child, sharpen interoperability

U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Douglas N. Spangler, 822nd Expeditionary Base Defense Squadron Security Forces squad leader, speaks to children from a nearby village outside of Air Base 201, Niger, Dec. 11, 2017. Spangler led a 13-member patrol team to find a missing two-year-old girl who was lost for six hours outside of Air Base 201. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Dewberry)

Tech Sgt. Douglas N. Spangler, 822nd Expeditionary Base Defense Squadron Security Forces squad leader, speaks to children from a nearby village outside of Air Base 201, Niger, Dec. 11, 2017. Spangler led a 13-member patrol team to find a missing two-year-old girl who was lost for six hours outside of Air Base 201. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Dewberry)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Daniel Contreras, 822nd Expeditionary Base Defense Squadron fire team leader, U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Alexander Dahlquist, 822nd EBDS fire team member, and U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Douglas N. Spangler, 822nd EBDS Security Forces squad leader, laugh with children from a nearby village outside of Air Base 201, Niger, Dec. 11, 2017. Recently, their security forces patrol team collaborated with local military members to rescue a two-year-old girl, after being notified by local villagers that she was lost near the base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Dewberry)

Staff Sgt. Daniel Contreras, 822nd Expeditionary Base Defense Squadron fire team leader, Airman 1st Class Alexander Dahlquist, 822nd EBDS fire team member, and Tech Sgt. Douglas N. Spangler, 822nd EBDS Security Forces squad leader, laugh with children from a nearby village outside of Air Base 201, Niger, Dec. 11, 2017. Recently, their security forces patrol team collaborated with local military members to rescue a two-year-old girl, after being notified by local villagers that she was lost near the base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua Dewberry)

AGADEZ, Niger (AFNS) -- Recently, an 822nd Expeditionary Base Defense Squadron Security Forces patrol team collaborated with local military members to rescue a two-year-old girl, after being notified by local villagers that she was lost near Nigerien Air Base 201.

“She simply wandered away from the village in the late evening hours,” said Chief Master Sgt. Rick A. Schlachter, 822nd EBDS Security Forces manager. “By village we're literally talking mud and stick huts in the middle of the desert.”

The 822nd EBDS has complex and multi-layered duties in Africa. Sustaining positive relations with their host-nation partners is part of a unique mission that promotes regional stability and prosperity.

“Being available at the right time and the right place to help find their daughter was nothing short of a divine intervention,” said Lt. Col. Julia Jefferson, 822nd Expeditionary Base Defense Squadron commander. “We are so thankful for the opportunity to help the child make it home safely into her mother's arms. That is what neighbors do for each other."

The patrol team consisted of 14 security forces members, all of whom were prepared to assist, regardless of the situation.

“We all felt the urgency to help and we tried to put ourselves in the family’s shoes, so to speak, and use that emotion to put a search into action,” said Tech. Sgt. Douglas N. Spangler, 822nd EBDS Security Forces squad leader. “We have heard that a similar situation happened in the summer of 2017. However, the outcome was not as good… the child in that incident was found deceased.”

The patrol team’s linguist met with the villagers outside of the base, where they found evidence that could lead to the child’s whereabouts.

“The linguist was on patrol with security forces when we made contact with the locals,” Spangler said.

In the black of the night, hundreds of tiny footprints scattered throughout multiple directions across a span of roughly two miles.

“When we found the footprints, we knew we had a chance to find the missing girl,” Spangler explained. “The squad’s feelings toward the possibility of finding the missing girl was to ensure we did everything we could to help the parents; we were just trying to help people in a time of need.”

The locals took the patrol team to the last known location of the footprints, where an organized search began.

“Much of the credit for finding the tracks and staying on course goes to our linguist.” Spangler said. “Without his help and knowledge, we wouldn’t have been able to locate the girl as fast as we did, if at all.”

In addition to the host nation military members, more than 40 villagers from the local area accompanied the Airmen during the search.

“It’s nice to be able to count on the host nation to support their local communities during times like these,” Spangler said. “The support they provided helps portray a positive image of the Forces Armées Nigeriennes to local nationals.”

The Airmen finally found the child after two hours of rummaging through the night in sandy desert terrain. It was so dark that they could only use flashlights to search through hard packed sand, slate rock formations and gravel.

“Our first thoughts when finding the girl alive were feelings of joy and happiness, knowing that we were able to help the parents during their time of panic and need,” Spangler said.

Immediately, Spangler assessed the child for injuries, bites and wounds. The child appeared to be in good health when the team found her, but she was tired, scared and cold.

“She was dressed in just a T-Shirt and flip flops,” Spangler said. “When we found her, she was very dusty from the wind and appeared distraught.”

The temperature that night was somewhere around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Spangler wrapped the girl in a blanket to keep her warm and prevent hypothermia.

“The potential for hypothermia existed because the girl had been missing for six hours before she was found,” Spangler said. “Fortunately, she sustained no injuries.”

Both parents shed tears when their daughter was returned.

“The parents stated, ‘the ultimate sign of friendship is dropping everything to help someone in need,’” Spangler said. “The villagers said they are very happy U.S. forces are in their country helping and they truly believe U.S. forces are here doing good things for the people in the local area.”

The Airmen not only showcased their capabilities that night, but also demonstrated the U.S. Air Force’s effectiveness in working alongside host nation security forces to build interoperability as a team.

“If you can rapidly locate a small child hidden by the cover of darkness somewhere within three kilometers of your base security zone, then you can identify and intercept any threat approaching your installation,” Schlachter said. “By quickly finding and returning the child to her village, the security team cemented a trust and goodwill that extends well beyond the base perimeter for years to come.”