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Guarding the gates

Senior Airman Dominique Castillo (right), 944th Security Forces Squadron member, and Kadena Gate Guard Hiroyuki Toyama, 18th Security Forces Squadron, check a visitor’s credentials in order to allow him base access June 28, 2016, at Gate 1 at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa.  A native Arizonian, Castillo has been a Reservist with the 944th for four years and the opportunity to do an off-station annual tour is valuable to her. The 18th Security Forces Squadron capitalized on the extensive experience 944th SFS members brought during their annual tour by seamlessly integrating them into all of their flights. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Nestor Cruz)

Senior Airman Dominique Castillo (right), 944th Security Forces Squadron member, and Kadena Gate Guard Hiroyuki Toyama, 18th Security Forces Squadron, check a visitor’s credentials in order to allow him base access June 28, 2016, at Gate 1 at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa. A native Arizonian, Castillo has been a Reservist with the 944th for four years and the opportunity to do an off-station annual tour is valuable to her. The 18th Security Forces Squadron capitalized on the extensive experience 944th SFS members brought during their annual tour by seamlessly integrating them into all of their flights. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Nestor Cruz)

Tech. Sgt. Alexander Goreski, 944th Security Forces Squadron action officer, provides All Terrain Vehicle training to 18 SFS members June 30, 2016 during his annual tour dubbed “Operation Patriot Habu” at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa.   Because of their level of experience, Citizen Airmen from the 944th have integrated seamlessly into all aspects of the 18 SFS.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Barbara Plante)

Tech. Sgt. Alexander Goreski, 944th Security Forces Squadron action officer, provides All Terrain Vehicle training to 18 SFS members June 30, 2016 during his annual tour dubbed “Operation Patriot Habu” at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa. Because of their level of experience, Citizen Airmen from the 944th have integrated seamlessly into all aspects of the 18 SFS. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Barbara Plante)

Senior Airman Dominique Castillo, 944th Security Forces Squadron member, checks a visitor’s credentials in order to allow him base access June 28, 2016, at Gate 1 at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa.  A native Arizonian, Castillo has been a Reservist with the 944th for four years and the opportunity to do an off-station annual tour is valuable to her. The 18th Security Forces Squadron capitalized on the extensive experience 944 SFS members brought during their annual tour by seamlessly integrating them into all of their flights. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Nestor Cruz)

Senior Airman Dominique Castillo, 944th Security Forces Squadron member, checks a visitor’s credentials in order to allow him base access June 28, 2016, at Gate 1 at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa. A native Arizonian, Castillo has been a Reservist with the 944th for four years and the opportunity to do an off-station annual tour is valuable to her. The 18th Security Forces Squadron capitalized on the extensive experience 944 SFS members brought during their annual tour by seamlessly integrating them into all of their flights. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Nestor Cruz)

KADENA AIR BASE, JAPAN -- Citizen Airmen with Luke’s 944th Security Forces Squadron travelled to Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, June 26, to provide extra manning for their active-duty counterparts. The joint mission is part of the reservists’ annual tour, dubbed “Operation Patriot Habu,” and Kadena Airmen are excited to have them here.

“Having the 944 SFS come in and bring seasoned troops really helps us out,” said Staff Sgt. Ian Watson, 18th Security Forces Squadron training instructor. “We’re hurting for manpower during this [PCS] season, when people are moving to other bases, so the fact they came is a huge help.”

Many Airmen with the 944 SFS serve as civilian law enforcement members, which allowed them to seamlessly embed themselves within the flights here.

“We integrated the reservists into our five flights: two day-shift flights, one swing-shift flight, and two mid-shift flights,” Watson said. “When we found out many of them are civilian law enforcement, it was easy incorporating them into our daily training and operations since we know they have their certifications.”

The younger Airmen, relatively new to the Air Force, are excited to learn from their experienced visitors.

“I’m impressed with the level of experience [the Reservists] brought with them and it’s going to be interesting to learn from them,” said Airman 1st Class Trent Jones, 18th SFS unit scheduler. “I want to know what they know and use that knowledge at my current level to get me on my game.”

The excitement of working with new people is shared by the visiting Airmen as well.

“Going off-station for this year’s annual tour is very beneficial to me because I have the opportunity to work with active-duty Airmen, meet new people and do something new,” said Senior Airman Dominique Castillo, 944th SFS member. Between the monthly unit training assembly with the 944th, Castillo serves as a correctional officer back home in Arizona.

With the high level of professionalism both sides bring to the table, non-SFS members are hard-pressed to distinguish between active-duty and Reserve cops patrolling the base or standing watch at the gates.

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