Andersen defenders remember the fallen during Police Week 2017

by Airman 1st Class Christopher E. Quail
36th Wing Public Affairs

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- Defenders from the 36th and 736th Security Forces Squadrons, conducted various events to recognize and honor fallen law enforcement officers throughout National Police Week May 14-21, 2017, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.

“Security forces and law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to protect us,” said Staff. Sgt. Randell Gallery, 36th SFS training instructor. “National Police Week is all about honoring them.”

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a Presidential Proclamation that set aside May 15th as National Peace Officer’s Memorial Day and the week of May 15 as National Police Week.

National Police Week kicked off with the defender challenge, a nearly two-mile obstacle course that included flipping an oversized tire, a body drag, pushing a Humvee up an incline, carrying a litter, weapons assembly station and finished off with a shooting competition at the combat arms range.

“Although the defender challenge tests your will and really makes you push yourself, we gladly go through that pain in honor of those that came before us,” said Master Sgt. Victor Morales, 36th SFS flight chief.

On Tuesday, the 36th SFS hosted the Department of Defense Education Activity School where they displayed weapons, introduced the kids to McGruff the Crime Dog and put on a simulated K9 aggressor exercise.

“The displays help shed light on things that security forces does,” said Gallery. “There is more to our job than just pulling people over and giving tickets.”

Later in the week base leadership went head-to-head during a shooting competition. Competitors were timed while being tasked to shoot an M9 pistol and an M870 shotgun at targets downrange.

Throughout the final day of National Police Week, Airmen honored the fallen by taking turns as vigil guards at a memorial wreath laying.

A retreat ceremony concluded the National Police Week events. Lt. Col. Michael Jewel, 36th SFS commander, lead the ceremony to honor fallen law enforcement officers.

“It is appropriate that we take time each year to honor our law enforcement professionals,” said Jewel. “Police work is inherently dangerous, on average one law enforcement officer is killed in the line of duty somewhere in the United States every 53 hours.”

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