Air Force, Coast Guard conduct first patrol on Guam

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Tech. Sgt. Adam Rogers assigned to the 36th Security Forces Squadron performs a ground tasking operation overlooking a cliff face searching for signs of human activity along the eastern shoreline on Andersen Air Force Base, Guam May 14 2021. Andersen Air Force Base covers 14,600 acres, more than half of which is undeveloped land. (U.S. Air Force photo by SSgt Nicholas Crisp)

Airmen assigned to the 36th Security Forces Squadron and members of U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam teamed up to complete a perimeter patrol around Andersen Air Force Base’s less populated areas.

36th SFS and the USCG performed dual patrols both on land and at sea, making this patrol the first terrain and coastal familiarization between them on Guam.

“It’s useful for both of our teams to understand the capabilities of each other’s assets,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Ben Trimnel, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam. “That knowledge increases our ability to secure the base and keep the coasts clear.”

Operations like this help enhance interoperability and strengthen the partnerships on Guam. These patrols help streamline response times to the wilder areas of the installation, such as the coast, cliffs, and jungles on Andersen.

“We do these patrols with the intent of policing, observation and area familiarization, and deterrence of both hostile and non-hostile threats or criminal activity,” said Tech. Sgt. Adam Rogers, 36th SFS NCO in charge of installation security. “Non-hostiles may be someone not intending any hostility, but still breaking the law.”

The patrol serves as an additional measure of coastal perimeter familiarization. While hiking through the jungle, security forces members are searching for any damages to the perimeter fence line, the creation of pathways through the jungle and leftover litter. These signs signal patterns, which security forces can use to identify highly trafficked areas.

“When out there, we are looking for signs of recent activity,” Rogers said. “We’re on the lookout for both those who aren’t supposed to be on installation and those who are allowed but are doing things they shouldn’t.”

Beside the jungles are miles of shoreline that trespassers can use to access the installation. Patrols are also observing to see any watercraft that may be in the vicinity and report them to the USCG.

“This week we are conducting some anti-terrorism measures with the Air Force,” Trimnel said. “We took three Airmen out with us to show them the infrastructure of their coastline and look for possible spots perpetrators could breach the perimeter of the base.”

Andersen AFB encompasses over 14,600 acres and more than half of the land is undeveloped jungle. Over 200 security forces members on installation are responsible for law enforcement duties on the main station and performing patrols through Andersen’s wilderness.

“If someone is caught trespassing onto the installation, either by cutting the fence or sailing onto our shorelines, they are breaking federal law,” Rogers said. “They can be subject to several thousand dollars in fines and may have to answer to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.”

Trespassing on military property comes with a fine of up to $5,000 and up to six months imprisonment. Damage to government property less than $1,000 comes with a fine of up to $100,000 and/or up to one-year imprisonment. Poaching or acquiring any fish or wildlife from military property comes with a fine of up to $10,000, forfeiture of items used to carry out the poaching, such as vehicles, and if there is proof there is an intent to export anything poached worth $350 or more, there is a fine of up to $25,000 and imprisonment up to five years.

Military law enforcement doesn’t have jurisdiction off the installation, but through the partnership and coordination by 36th SFS and the USCG the ability to apprehend trespassers is greatly enhanced.

(By Staff Sgt. Nicholas Crisp, 36th Wing Public Affairs)

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