Story by Senior Airman Sean Martin, 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs
BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE — The 2nd Security Forces Squadron recently created an elite gate guard section consisting of 40 hand-selected Airmen who exemplify professionalism and adherence to the Air Force core values.
Barksdale is one of only a few bases around the Air Force that have done so.
“What sets us aside from regular Airmen is that everything we do is crisp and done with excellence every time; from the salute, to our appearance, to our posture at the gate,” said Senior Airman Deon Abdullah, 2nd SFS elite gate guard. “We want to show no flaw as people come through the gate so they know the gates and the base are being manned by true professionals.”
Elite gate guards are the first people someone sees when they arrive at the base.
“Making a first impression is one of the most important things you do and it can never be taken back,” said Tech. Sgt. Nicholous Banks, 2nd SFS elite gate guard NCO in-charge. “As elite gate guards, we are the faces of Barksdale.”
Professionalism is something that is instilled in every Airman from day one of Basic Military Training and elite gate guards are no exception.
“To be professional, you need to be humble, respectful and disciplined,” said Deon. “Professionalism is not a clock in and clock out kind of thing, it is a 24/7 type of thing and takes discipline to be able to learn. You also have to maintain a positive attitude and show that to each person no matter the rank.”
The wingman concept within the elite gate guards is a way for them to always have someone there to make sure they are squared away no matter the time of day or shift they are on.
“The wingman concept can never be over emphasized,” said Deon. “For example, during the nights when there may not be a car for hours and all you have is your wingman, this is the time you should use to check each other’s uniform, ensure your post is in order and to keep each other alert.”
The Air Force core values play a big part into how the elite gate guards are expected to act.
“Excellence in all we do is very important to everyone, but especially us,” said Nicholous. “The core values are called core because you build off them. If you can’t understand these basic building blocks of the Air Force, then you are not going to be able to get the important stuff done right.”
Excellence means showing up to work on time, wearing the uniform properly and being prepared for duty with the right mindset and performing those duties to the absolute best of one’s ability, said Nicholous.
“Being the best we can be is something that we strive for day in and day out,” said Deon. “Each and every person in this unit is strictly dedicated, highly motivated and are ready to meet any kind of challenge to the best of our abilities.”