JOINT BASE ANACOSTIA-BOLLING, Washington. –
Entering into a new fiscal year, there are plenty of changes on the horizon for JBAB, some of which have already taken effect.
On Oct. 1, the Air Force officially became the lead service of Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, taking over from the Navy after 10 years. The switch marks the first time any joint base transferred control.
Driving onto base this spring and summer, you’ve probably noticed Air Force Security Forces at the gates. However, this change is not due solely to the lead service transfer – there is a new unit on base!
On Sunday, Sept. 27 at 0500, the 11th Security Forces Squadron officially became the base police unit. For the past ten years, JBAB law enforcement was civilian officers operating under Navy policy. With the activation of the 11th Security Forces Squadron, base police now predominantly consists of active duty Air Force members and a mix of Air Force Civilian Defenders.
Those who live and work on base will continue to notice changes to daily operations, such as the requirement for all commercial vehicles entering the base being subject to a mandatory physical search. Leadership understands this can impact resident and mission partner deliveries, but greatly enhances base security and force protection.
The JBAB community can also expect to see an increased police presence not just at the gates, but throughout base. This means more patrols, both in vehicle and on foot. One of the goals of the 11SFS is to foster positive relationships between the community and law enforcement through an increase in community policing.
“Most of the time police are there when someone is in trouble or when something happens. We want to break that trend, that stigma that cops are only there when something happens,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Bergery, Ops Superintendent. “We want to be a part of the community. We actually want to get to know you by your first name. We want to have that relationship prior to us having to be there for an emergency.”
For members assigned to the 11 SFS, it’s an exciting time. U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Wendy Lewis applied for an assignment at the unit and was absolutely thrilled when she was selected to be their NCOIC of Plans and Assessment. Many in the squadron share her enthusiasm. “The Airmen here are really excited, which helps you be excited,” Lewis said. “There’s a lot of laughter in the hallways.”
Being part of a new unit offers its members a unique opportunity to be involved in creating and implementing policies. Members of this unit have a wealth of experience from their previous assignments. They have seen what works and what doesn’t, so they can take that experience and immediately implement the best procedure from the start.
“It’s something so different and so unique,” Lewis said with a wide grin. “We just took over and started a new unit! We’re authoring things. I’ve never done anything like authoring an Integrated Defense Plan or being at the forefront of starting a mission set. It’s an incredible feeling!”
As the members of the 11SFS settle into their new role on JBAB, please take the time to get to know them. Say hello next time you pass an officer in the Exchange. Introduce yourself the next time you see Security Forces patrolling the residential area on foot. Help us welcome this new unit as they strive to make our community a better and safer place to live and work.