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Base cops get new mission

GRAND FORKS AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- Two specialized base security forces teams deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan Dec. 3 for a special mission after training at Fort Lewis, Wash. and at Silver Flag Airbase Defense School at Creech Air Force Guard Base, Nev. 

The teams took over responsibility for detainee operations at several prisons from the Army. 

The teams received specialized training including convoy operations, weapons qualification and airbase ground defense. 

“It’s a unique mission for Air Force security forces. We have never done this before. We went through four weeks of detainee operations training with the Army to learn it and everyone is excited about it,” said Capt. Paul Zwilling, one of the 319th Security Forces Squadron deployers. 

“This is a new mission set for our Air Force and you’re leading the way. You are directly involved in ensuring the success of the joint war-fighting commander. The importance of what you’re doing should not be lost on anyone … the role you are playing is significant. You’re ready and you’re going to do well,” said Col. Bill Bender, 319th Air Refueling Wing Commander, who addressed the troops prior to their departure.