ORLANDO, Fla. --
As a stream
of visitors walks across brightly colored carpet in an immense hotel here, a
man in a suit directs them to a registration table. He does this for scores of
people over a 3-hour period at the start of an Air Force Reserve Yellow
Reintegration Program training event.
yet courteous,” said Master Sgt. Bryant Hamlor, describing the type of demeanor
he and other security team members strive to project at each Yellow Ribbon
training weekend. “We want people to
know we’re here and that their loved ones are protected.”
multiple conferences per year in addition to serving as a security forces action
officer with the 459th Security Forces Squadron at Joint Base Andrews in
Maryland. He has provided security at Yellow Ribbon events since 2010.
900 people – reservists and those closest to them -- attended this event Sept.
25-27 in Florida. Yellow Ribbon promotes the well-being of reservists and their
families by connecting them with resources before and after deployments.
purpose of the security detail is to ensure the safety of children in the
childcare area,” he said. “We want parents to know that, although the childcare
process is unfamiliar, it’s very secure.”
The safety of the participants is of
paramount importance to the 8-person security detail at this event and allows the
attendees to focus on receiving information from the resource providers there.
“This is my
first Yellow Ribbon event, and it’s funny that the first one I attend it’s
through a security detail,” said Tech. Sgt. Hector Flores of the 507th Security
Forces Squadron at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma. “From this perspective I
see how important it is that families of military personnel have the
opportunity to receive a lot of information that is missed or needed during the
the team leader, traveled to the Orlando location prior to the event to conduct
a site survey, and walked areas of concern the day before attendees arrived to
get a detailed perspective of the facilities. Wearing suits and ties, the Yellow
Ribbon security team members provide a visible presence throughout the event.
Ribbon attendees wear badges to allow for accountability and identification. To
accommodate the massive gathering of visitors, dozens of rooms were reserved
for briefings designed to inform attendees on all the services and resources
available to them before and after a deployment. The large area of
responsibility dictates the size of the security detail. The team in Orlando had
two reservists from Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, four from Tinker Air Force
Base, Oklahoma, and two from Andrews.
some security forces’ temporary assignments, which may include long hours and a
harsh environment, the job at this Yellow Ribbon event was a welcome tasking
for the detail, said Senior Airman Colby Crosser, a fire team member with the 932nd
Security Forces Squadron at Scott Air Force Base.
“It’s Orlando, Florida,” he said.
“That’s been my favorite part. It’s a different style of (duty) that’s new to
me, and it’s kinda nice.”
Yellow Ribbon began in 2008
following a congressional mandate for the Department of Defense to assist
reservists and National Guard members in maintaining resiliency as they
transition between their military and civilian roles. Each year, the Air Force
Reserve program trains 7,000 reservists and family members in education
benefits, health care, retirement information and more.