Protectors: safe, secure

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Victor Rodriguez, 27th Special Operations Security Forces Squadron patrolman, posts at the main gate to perform random vehicle inspections at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., March 27, 2012. Security forces troops ensure the safety of all Air Commandos, families and visitors. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexxis Pons Abascal)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Victor Rodriguez, 27th Special Operations Security Forces Squadron patrolman, posts at the main gate to perform random vehicle inspections at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., March 27, 2012. Security forces troops ensure the safety of all Air Commandos, families and visitors. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexxis Pons Abascal)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Victor Rodriguez, 27th Special Operations Security Forces Squadron patrolman, monitors base entry at the main gate at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., March 27, 2012. Security forces troops ensure the safety of all Air Commandos, families and visitors. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexxis Pons Abascal)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Victor Rodriguez, 27th Special Operations Security Forces Squadron patrolman, monitors base entry at the main gate at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., March 27, 2012. Security forces troops ensure the safety of all Air Commandos, families and visitors. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexxis Pons Abascal)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Victor Rodriguez, 27th Special Operations Security Forces Squadron patrolman, randomly selects a vehicle for inspection at the main gate at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., March 27, 2012. Random vehicle inspections are just one way security forces troops ensure the safety of all Air Commandos, families and visitors. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Eboni Reece)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Victor Rodriguez, 27th Special Operations Security Forces Squadron patrolman, randomly selects a vehicle for inspection at the main gate at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., March 27, 2012. Random vehicle inspections are just one way security forces troops ensure the safety of all Air Commandos, families and visitors. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Eboni Reece)

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- *This feature is third in a series of 27th Special Operations Security Forces Squadron highlights at Cannon.

One of the most widely-known Special Operations Forces truths is that humans are more important than hardware, making personnel essential Air Force asset. While every Air Commando stationed at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., is important to its capabilities, members of the 27th Special Operations Security Forces Squadron play a vital role ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all members within the Cannon community.

"The safety of base personnel and Cannon affiliates is our primary mission objective," said Senior Airman Posie Smith, 27th Special Operations Security Forces Squadron patrolman. "Aircraft and flightline security is on the other side of that, but none of that would function without our Airmen."

To the average observer, it would appear that patrolmen at Cannon are simply law enforcers. In reality, they are first responders to all base incidents.

"We are typically the first team to arrive any time something goes wrong because we are already patrolling the base," said Smith. "A huge part of ensuring Cannon's mission is maintaining our readiness and response times."

Security forces patrolmen take on many duties that allow the base to continuously operate 24-7 special operations missions safely.

"You might see us in the morning checking ID cards and later in the afternoon patrolling the housing areas," said Senior Airman Victor Rodriguez, 27 SOSFS patrolman. "We routinely survey the base perimeter and randomly test our anti-terrorist measures."

Military installations are bound to experience the occasional incident, and Cannon is no exception. Gas leaks, suspicious packages, alarms and downed aircraft are just a few incidents to which 27 SOSFS troops are capable of responding.

"I take away each and every day the satisfaction of knowing I'm helping keep our people out of harm's way," said Rodriguez. "I came into the Air Force wanting this job specifically. Not everyone is willing to put someone else before themselves that they don't necessarily know, but that's just one of the inherent duties we proudly take on as patrolmen."