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Defending Dyess 24/7

Senior Airman Cully Streans, 7th Security Forces Squadron, patrols the streets of Dyess Dec. 4, 2012, at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. Security forces works in two shifts, day-shift from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. and mid-shift from 6 p.m.-6 a.m. Even though the mid-shift starts at 6 p.m., Airmen arrive earlier to attend guard mount, where they are briefed about what they’re going to do for the night and if anything significant happened during the prior shift. The 7th SFS faces unique challenges at night, such as DUIs, DWIs and underage drinking. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Damon Kasberg/ Released)

Senior Airman Cully Streans, 7th Security Forces Squadron, patrols the streets of Dyess Dec. 4, 2012, at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. Security forces works in two shifts, day-shift from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. and mid-shift from 6 p.m.-6 a.m. Even though the mid-shift starts at 6 p.m., Airmen arrive earlier to attend guard mount, where they are briefed about what they’re going to do for the night and if anything significant happened during the prior shift. The 7th SFS faces unique challenges at night, such as DUIs, DWIs and underage drinking. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Damon Kasberg/ Released)

Staff Sgt. David Cohee, 7th Security Forces Squadron, checks an identification card Sept. 29, 2012, at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. Security forces works in two shifts, day-shift from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. and mid-shift from 6 p.m.-6 a.m. Even though the mid-shift starts at 6 p.m., Airmen arrive earlier to attend guard mount, where they are briefed about what they’re going to do for the night and if anything significant happened during the prior shift. The 7th SFS faces unique challenges at night, such as DUIs, DWIs and underage drinking. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Damon Kasberg/ Released)

Staff Sgt. David Cohee, 7th Security Forces Squadron, checks an identification card Sept. 29, 2012, at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. Security forces works in two shifts, day-shift from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. and mid-shift from 6 p.m.-6 a.m. Even though the mid-shift starts at 6 p.m., Airmen arrive earlier to attend guard mount, where they are briefed about what they’re going to do for the night and if anything significant happened during the prior shift. The 7th SFS faces unique challenges at night, such as DUIs, DWIs and underage drinking. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Damon Kasberg/ Released)

DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- When 3:30 p.m. rolls around most people are thinking about going home, relaxing, enjoying dinner and spending time with family. Meanwhile, members of the 7th Security Forces Squadron's night shift are suiting up and preparing for work.

Security forces works in two shifts, day-shift from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. and mid-shift from 6 p.m.-6 a.m.

"Day and night, we make a proactive effort to ensure the safety of the base populous and the resources we have assigned to this base," said Staff Sgt. David Schwartz, 7th SFS.

Even though the mid-shift starts at 6 p.m., Airmen arrive earlier to attend guard mount, where the cops are briefed about what they're going to do for the night and if anything significant happened during the prior shift.

Keeping watch over Dyess at night brings unique challenges for security forces members.

"It's a big adjustment for your body," said Senior Airman Samantha Gibson, 7th SFS. "There are some nights when I'm good to go and other nights I don't think I'm going to make it. There are a lot more things going on throughout the day, but when something does happen at night, it's usually something big, such as DUIs, DWIs and underage drinking."

Not only does the mid-shift bring challenges to member's professional lives, it can affect their personal lives as well.

"After awhile your body gets used to staying awake at night," Schwartz said. "On days off we try to stay on schedule, but those of us with families still need to spend time with them and not sleep in all day. Sometimes we have to make sacrifices on our days off."

The effort and sacrifice from these Airmen doesn't go unnoticed. Dyess residents can walk the streets safely and sleep soundly knowing the 7th SFS is patrolling the base throughout the night.

"I feel safe living in base housing," said Staff Sgt. Arbraysha Williams, 7th Force Support Squadron. "It's great having that peace of mind knowing security forces is out there 24/7."

At 6 a.m. the mid-shift is over, but the job isn't done.

"After the 12-hour shift we still have to do physical training," said Senior Airman Cully Strearns, 7th SFS. "We also have to do all of our required training and medical appointments during the day."

As trained Airmen, 7th SFS members adapt to different situations and thrive.

"At night the pace is slower, but we take advantage of that," Schwartz said. "We're able to make sure our young Airmen, especially the ones straight out of tech school, are trained properly. We go through the tasks they need to be knowledgeable with and we're able to quiz them on those tasks, ensuring they know and understand everything."

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