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Tech. Sgt. Chris Padron, a flight sergeant with the 35th Security Forces Squadron, demonstrates on Thursday how to search a suspect, played by volunteer Airman 1st Class Nicolaus Samuels.

Tech. Sgt. Chris Padron, a flight sergeant with the 35th Security Forces Squadron, demonstrates on Thursday how to search a suspect, played by volunteer Airman 1st Class Nicolaus Samuels. (T.D. Flack / S&S)

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — Facing a manpower shortage due to downrange deployments, the 35th Security Forces Squadron here has had to reach out to local units to reinforce its ranks.

Fifteen airmen from nearly every job field on the base — and three Navy military policemen — have been tasked to work for about two months as augmentation forces.

Senior Master Sgt. Shawn Drinkard, Security Forces superintendent of operations, said it’s the first time in several years that Misawa has had to use augmentees. He said that with the numbers of local personnel deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan — and the overlaps that can occur with their deployments — his squadron “experiences manning shortages at levels that often make it difficult to meet posting requirements on a continual basis.”

Since they’ll be armed and responsible for the same duties as the security specialists they’ll be working with, all 18 underwent a six-day course to learn the basics. Classes included basic security concepts and operations; weapons safety; the use of deadly force; how to search, handcuff and apprehend a suspect; and how to fill out security reports.

During a training session Wednesday, Tech. Sgt. Chris Padron, a flight sergeant with the squadron, ran the students through the paces of handcuffing and searching a suspect. Padron — who served as an instructor at the Security Forces Academy and who taught the Afghan National Police the same lessons — peppered the session with personal anecdotes and humor.

Using volunteer Airman 1st Class Nicolaus Samuels, Padron demonstrated how to search a suspect.

“Nope. Nothing there. Not even a chest,” he cracked, as he patted down Samuels.

Padron also explained the importance of equipment position and control of the suspect, explaining that a former supervisor carries a brutal facial scar from a suspect who struck him with an open handcuff when trying to escape.

Basic apprehension is the “deadliest part of any cop’s job,” he said.

Staff Sgt. James White, who usually works in the supply section at the 35th Logistical Readiness Squadron, volunteered for the security duty.

The most difficult part of the training was “trying to absorb all the info,” he said.

White said he’s also discovered “a newfound respect” for security forces.


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