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43rd SFS supports Operation Unified Response

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Marissa Tucker
  • 43rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Since the surge of relief effort to the earthquake ravaged Haiti, the 43rd Security Forces Squadron has amplified their operations tempo in support of Operation Unified Response.

Every Air Force flight landing at the Toussaint Louverture International (Port Au Prince) Airport is accompanied by Ravens, security forces members who receive specialized training in protecting and securing aircraft and cargo, said Tech Sgt. Christopher Lawton, Raven program manager here. Every aircraft is required to have fly-away security and the Raven program is designed to support that.

"Ravens receive training in non-lethal and hand-to-hand combat, air marshalling, cultural sensitivities, and now, many are required to go to Survival Evade Resist and Escape school because of the missions they take part in," he said. "Protecting the aircraft and its inhabitants are their number one priority."

While not every security forces member here is a Raven, there are enough to support every mission, said Master Sgt. Robert Braziel, 43rd SFS operations superintendent.

"Our crews are working around the clock to support Operation Unified Response," he said. "We are prepared for whatever we are needed to do."

Since Jan. 12, Ravens have provided security elements for more than 54 missions to Haiti, supplying the country with food, water and transporting relief personnel, Sergeant Braziel said. Airmen from McChord and Travis Air Force Bases have also supported Raven missions out of Pope.

Normal security forces operations are unaffected by the mission and they plan to continue sending Ravens for as long as they are needed.

"We are on extended operations until further notice," Sergeant Brazil said. "We're in it for the long haul."

Maj. Eric Horst, 43rd SFS Commander expressed his appreciation of every squadron member.

"The members of the 43d SFS have shown tremendous resilience in supporting the relief missions," he said. "The operations section constructed an immediate support plan within 24-hours (of the earthquake) to provide security elements for numerous flights to Port Au Prince and have continued to maintain that capability non-stop since the earthquake. I could not be more proud of their efforts."