MIRGOROD AIR BASE, UKRAINE – Amidst all the fast paced operations at Mirgorod Air Base, Ukraine, the quiet defenders work to ensure all United States assets are protected from any threat. Both personnel and aircraft are under a watchful eye, being kept ready for any potential danger or threat.
“Whenever you operate from a foreign base you need to be aware of all of the threats,” said Maj. Jaime McGown, an anti-terrorism officer in the Alabama Air National Guard. “We need to ensure the aircraft and equipment are secure. We are working hand-in-hand with the Ukrainians; but just as they are protecting their assets, we are protecting ours.”
“The reality of a deployment is that everyone’s security posture increases. On U.S. soil there are threats that we mitigate through random anti-terrorism measures and some of the same threats exist here. The biggest difference is we are away from home so different threats exist, working together with the Ukrainian team is vital,” said Tech. Sgt. Jeffery Carter, Security Force defender from the Alabama Air National Guard.
“The pilots are securing the airspace, our job is to secure the base, and protect those people who work on it,” said Senior Airman Craig Jones of the Alabama Air National Guard.
The defenders provide the backbone for security, but all 140 members supporting SAFE SKIES are working to protect U.S. assets. With the strong state partnership in place, this resilient and ready force is prepared to complete its mission, both working with the Ukraine Air Force and completing invaluable training with its Eastern European partners.