AFOSI, always looking for recruits
By Special Agent Jason Muldrew, 17th Training Wing Office of Special Investigations
/ Published February 16, 2011
GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
The Air Force Office of Special Investigations is a federal law enforcement and investigative agency operating throughout the full spectrum of conflict, seamlessly within any domain; conducting criminal and counterintelligence investigations and numerous other services. Their mission is, "To Identify, exploit and neutralize criminal, terrorist and intelligence threats to the Air Force, Department of Defense and U.S. Government."
Locally, special agents walk among us who are trained to track down criminals, perform counterintelligence operations and neutralize terrorist threats.
No, they're not part of a secret spy organization, they're agents of the AFOSI. These agents are highly trained and dedicated individuals tasked with the defense and protection of U.S. Government, DOD, and Air Force personnel and resources.
AFOSI Detachment 408 at Goodfellow is unique in that they service an installation in which members from all four military branches and the Coast Guard are assigned. Det. 408's area of operations contains 36 counties in West Texas. A typical day will find Det. 408 agents working with local, state, and federal officials.
AFOSI is responsible for investigating and handling felony-level crimes impacting the Air Force. It was modeled to function in the capacity of the FBI, but tailored to the Air Force's needs.
The AFOSI branch at Goodfellow is no exception to this mission. Goodfellow AFOSI agents mainly work on cases involving felony criminal acts. AFOSI provides a vital communication link between the involved parties to include Commanders and First Sergeants.
While the majority of investigations are for these crimes, AFOSI is also responsible for fraud and counterintelligence matters and plays a key role in the defense of terrorism and crime.
With such a far-reaching mission, it requires significant training to be an AFOSI agent. Entry-level training begins at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Ga., where the students take an 11-week course with other law enforcement agency students. This is followed by six weeks of AFOSI-specific training. The training covers many different topics including training in firearms, forensics, surveillance, interrogations and military law.
"FLETC has some of the best instructors in the world," said Special Agent Tellez. "Special Agents from ICE, U.S. Marshals, ATF, OSI, NCIS, etc., train new Federal Law Enforcement Officers that go through FLETC. This was some of the best training I have ever received, hands down."
Deployments throw AFOSI agents into a new role vital to the Global War on Terrorism. Agents are responsible for traveling to villages to seek out information from the local population.
Special Agent Arter emphasized, "AFOSI deployments are different from any other Air Force deployment because we interact with the local populace to obtain threat information that will eventually lead to the capture of insurgents who intend to harm U.S. or coalition forces."
Agents not only seek out possible attacks, they also gather information on the general feelings of the populace regarding the military and their impact.
AFOSI is consistently seeking individuals to provide information regarding a criminal act or threat to resources.
"We encourage people to come forward with information vital to the protection of military assets," Special Agent Muldrew said.
With such a diverse mission, AFOSI agents recognize a significant difference in life as a special agent compared to the atmosphere in the rest of the Air Force. AFOSI is comprised of enlisted, officer and civilian personnel. It is typical for agents to come to work in civilian clothes, and for enlisted personnel to work alongside officers or civilian with no special deference paid due to rank.
"AFOSI is looking for self-motivated, exceptional members who can function independently and with a team in a dynamic environment. We recruit members from every career field," said Special Agent Yarbrough, Det. 408 Special Agent-in-Charge.
Despite the different climate, AFOSI remains a critical defense for Air Force and U.S. operations. AFOSI is continuously recruiting self-motivated Airmen to become Special Agents. For more information regarding a career with AFOSI, call (325) 654-3766.