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Security Forces Defenders at Clear Space Force Station recognize National Police Week

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt.
  • 168th Wing

CLEAR SPACE FORCE BASE, Alaska – U.S. Air National Guard Airmen with the 268th Security Forces Squadron, Alaska Air National Guard, organized a week of law enforcement activities to honor fallen Security Forces Airmen and law enforcement members from across the country who died in the line of duty.

National Police Week offers honors, remembrance, and peer support while allowing law enforcement, survivors, and community members to gather and pay homage to those who gave their lives in the line of duty.

"It is an honor to bring Police Week to Clear Space Force Station," said Master Sgt. Joshua Marugg, 268th Security Forces. "It is important to me for us to honor and remember our comrades who died in the line of duty. It brings your unit together and can bring your base populace together, too.

Team Clear participated in several weapons training events led by the 268 SFS in conjunction with National Police Week.

Tech. Sgt. Matthew Larson, Combat Arms Section Chief, taught the combat arms weapons training during Police Week. He shared, "It was humbling because we got to show individuals that aren't part of SFS what we do and show them the training we go through regularly. It is everyone's business to keep the installation safe. At the same time, we are keeping our fallen Defender's memory alive—bring in other people and keep that spirit alive."

The week started with a Flag at Half Staff ceremonial honor and concluded with a roll call ceremony.

The guard mount for the last roll call ceremony consisted of the base fire department members, Canadian and American space warning operators, the chaplain office, command support staff, civil engineering, and security forces, who serve together and support each other at Clear SFS.

The Final Roll Call ceremony is a tradition held by Security Forces members across the country to pay tribute to fallen SFS members who died in the line of duty. The flight sergeant calls out their names as the roll call is conducted. Their names echo in the quietness as no response is returned. Fourteen Security Forces Airmen were honored for sacrificing their lives for their country, state, and community.

"The ceremony was beautiful," said Master Sgt. Dedric Kinsey, who served with Staff Sgt. Travis Griffin, one of the Fallen Heroes honored during the ceremony. I haven't reminisced like that for quite some time because a lot of times, we get on social media and text each other about the anniversary of his passing. It was nice to honor him in a ceremony."
Griffin, 28 years old, was killed on April 3, 2008, when his vehicle was hit by an IED in Baghdad, Iraq. He was assigned to the 377 SFS, Kirkland Air Force Base, New Mexico.

Throughout the week, the Clear SFS members participated in events and trained on weapons and duties that showcased the 268th Defender's capabilities.

"I plan to include a rucksack and make it a competition next year," said Marugg. "This was the first year of Police Week honors held during a week-long training and ceremonial events on Clear Space Force Station. We plan to continue the tradition to honor our comrades and keep the tradition alive past my retirement for years to come."

National Police Week is honored across the country every year. Marugg has participated in police week ceremonies at his previous active-duty assignments, including in Germany.

For the ceremony, Marugg built a combat cross, which will be on display in the SFS building at Clear. The combat cross includes dog tags for the fallen heroes who died in the line of duty, a vest, helmet, and M4.

"One of the biggest things that started the Police Week here was the fallen defender wall we painted in our work center," said Marugg. "We started with the display of the fallen heroes' photos. Sgt. James Hendricks' Dad is making a custom flag case to display the flag we folded during this year's ceremony. It will hang above the combat cross with the photos of the Fallen Defenders in our SFS building here at Clear. Hendricks is a 268 SFS Defender serving at Clear, and his Dad is retired from the active-duty Security Forces.”

Clear Space Force Base consists of Air National Guard Airmen, Space Force Guardians, Canadian Military members, and civilians working side-by-side. The 268th Security Forces and 213th Operations Group are part of the 168th Wing, Alaska Air National Guard. The 13th and 213th Space Warning Squadrons are comprised of Space Force Guardians and Arctic Airmen from the Alaska Air National Guard, and they provide 24/7 missile warning, missile defense, and space domain awareness.