Special Agents Neutralize Threats, Protect Air Force Interests> Robins Air Force Base> Post Display
Counterintelligence, hacking, and espionage aren’t just exciting plot points for fictional spy novels or TV shows.
It’s realistic national security questions that keep Airmen busy at the Office of Special Investigations at Robins Air Force Base, Ga.
“Protecting the interests of the air force is a big part of the job,” said Jordan Rodrigues, commander of AFOSI Detachment 105. “People think it’s a small community; nothing like that is happening here. But yes, it does.
“This base is a microcosm of the world because we have people from all over who work and live on the base as well as in the community outside the gates,” he continued. “The adversaries are working tirelessly to try to get our secrets or to attack us, so we must be just as vigilant in stopping them.”
In addition to thwarting cyber and terrorist threats, AFOSI special agents work on a wide range of serious offenses involving installation, violence against people, theft, drug use or any other illegal activity involving attack on the mission of the Air Force or the Ministry of Defense.
“On certain occasions, we will work jointly with the 78th Security Forces Squadron to conduct investigations at the base,” said Richard Haskett III, Special Agent of Detachment 105 of AFOSI. “But we are separate entities and the seriousness of the crime dictates which department will handle a case.”
According to Haskett, the 78th SFS deals with petty crimes while AFOSI is responsible for criminal-level incidents. These are offenses that would carry a jail term of one year or more under the Uniform Code of Military Justice or the United States Criminal Code.
“For example, if there was a case of domestic violence where a victim had minor cuts or bruises, security force airmen would supervise it. However, a situation where an individual is brutally beaten or even murdered would fall under the jurisdiction of OSI, ”he said.
AFOSI members are also authorized to conduct off-base investigations if Airmen are involved in illegal matters such as the sale or purchase of drugs.
“In these types of situations, we would seek help from the local law enforcement agencies where the crime is taking place,” Haskett said.
All AFOSI Special Agents are skilled in crime scene handling, weapon use, forensics, surveillance surveillance and detection, defensive tactics, interrogation, and counterterrorism techniques.
They are trained at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia. This is the same training academy for federal agents with the US Secret Service, US Marshals Service, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
After graduation, new OSI special agents spend a one-year probationary period in the field.
At this point, Haskett still has three months in the trial period. He joined Team Robins in January and is excited about what’s to come.
“I spent six years in the security forces and converted to OSI,” Haskett said. “When I joined the Air Force, OSI was always my main focus. Nothing beats having the tools at your disposal to make sure the best information gets to court. It’s also a good feeling when I can help the people I meet maybe on the worst day of their life.
The Office of Procurement Fraud is also housed in the AFOSI building in Robins.
Special agents in this section are responsible for investigating large-scale white-collar crimes affecting Air Force and Department of Defense contracts, programs or weapons systems.
“We are looking at anonymous tips that someone might believe that a contractor or military man is trying to cheat the government,” Rodrigues said. “Fraud could be the delivery of counterfeit electronic components, overcharging or failure to provide services required by the contract. “
AFOSI’s main website says the agency recovers millions of dollars each year from fraud cases.
For the past two years, Rodrigues has led the AFOSI team at Robins, and he wants the public to know his Airmen are there to help and not to hurt.
“Some people see us as the enemy or that we just want to get people in trouble and that’s not true,” he said. “People come to us with concerns and it’s our job to ask questions and get answers that will hopefully lead to the truth. Our duty is to protect the air force from all foreign and domestic enemies.