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AFSOUTH OSI boasts national level award

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Heather Redman
  • 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) Public Affairs
The Air Force Office of Special Investigations 2nd Field Investigations Region/Operating Location-Bravo (AFOSI 2 FIR/OL-B) was awarded the Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association (HAPCOA) 2013 Bronze Medal for Community Service.

Special Agent Brian Bacarella, AFOSI 2 FIR/OL-B Commander, said, "I'm really proud of my people. I feel that they deserve this award for all the great work that they do."

HAPCOA is the oldest and largest association in the U.S. of Hispanic American law enforcement officers and criminal justice agencies at the municipal, county, state and federal levels. Each year, at the conference, HAPCOA recognizes the extraordinary contributions of individuals and organizations through its Aguila Awards program.

This year AFOSI 2 FIR/OL-B was recognized for promoting a standard of excellence that exemplifies law enforcement's contributions and community service, both within the Tucson Community as well as within the U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) area of operations.

AFOSI 2 FIR/OL-B conducts counter-threat operations in support of all AFSOUTH and USSOUTHCOM missions and personnel throughout all of Latin America and the Caribbean, covering an area of approximately eight million square miles.

One of the operational achievements AFOSI 2 FIR/OL-B facilitated was the execution of the biggest humanitarian exercise in Latin America, New Horizons Belize 2013. During which AFOSI provided law enforcement and counterintelligence support to force protection activities to four geographically separated locations. The agents also coordinated outreach efforts throughout the country and provided guidance, assistance, and partnering initiatives with the Belize Defense Force, the Belize Ministry of Health, and the Belize Ministry of Education.

AFOSI 2 FIR/OL-B also supported humanitarian operations in Peru and Panama, as well as intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions in Colombia.

While conducting ISR missions in Colombia the agents assigned there also aided the community through outreach programs where members spearheaded a food drive. AFOSI 2 FIR/OL-B collected and distributed over 1,800 pounds of food to 156 Colombian families.

While at home station, the agents assigned to AFOSI 2 FIR/OL-B execute counter-threat operations in support of USSOUTHCOM and Air Forces Southern activities.

AFOSI provides professional investigative service to commanders of all Air Force activities. Its primary responsibilities are criminal investigations and counterintelligence services. AFOSI's mission is to identify, exploit and neutralize criminal, terrorist and intelligence threats to the Air Force, Department of Defense and U.S. Government.

The agents who remained at home station had their hands full not only with their mission at home but also with supporting the local Tucson community.

As a unit, the members of AFOSI 2 FIR/OL-B have developed a community outreach program where the agents volunteer, at least once a quarter, around the Tucson community. Some of the organizations the agents have volunteered with include the Tucson literacy advocacy organization, American Lung Association, YMCA, YWCA, and the Susan G. Komen Organization. AFOSI 2 FIR/OL-B has also volunteered with organizations that feed the homeless and visited patients in hospice care.

"This accomplishment should be shared with our customers at 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern). It was truly a team effort. Without the support of our AFSOUTH partners, we would not have been able to garner this award," said Bacarella.

In addition to this year's award, AFOSI 2 FIR/OL-B has also been awarded the HAPCOA Gold Medal of Valor Award and the Silver Medal for Meritorious Conduct in 2012, the Silver Medal for Meritorious Conduct in 2011, and the Silver Medal for Meritorious Conduct in 2010.