NYPD to TACP: Tech. Sgt. Bill Reed

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III
  • 435th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

From the NYPD to TACP, a New Jersey Air National Guardsman and police detective deployed to Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, provides the link between ground units and air assets in East Africa.

Deployed to the 82nd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron Det. 1, Tech. Sgt. Bill Reed is a tactical air control party (TACP) joint terminal attack controller (JTAC); he embeds with ground units to assess the need for and call in air support, if necessary.

“My job here is to provide JTAC support to the East Africa Response Force and any other tasking that may come down from Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa,” Reed said.

At home in between drill weekends and ANG missions, Reed serves the people of New York as a detective in New York City Police Department’s revered Emergency Services Unit (ESU).

Within the ranks of New York’s Finest, Reed uses his emergency medical technician, rope rescue, scuba diving, and other special weapons and tactics skills to deal with vastly different situations such as: handling high risk search warrants, barricaded perpetrator jobs, or terrorist attacks; helping a suicidal individual on a bridge; or even diving into a body of water to recover a piece of evidence.

“On any given day at any given hour we could do any number of those things. That’s what I love about that job,” Reed said. “And being a TACP certainly helped me when going into the NYPD ESU. Having been through all of the TACP training and knowing both the tactical and the communications aspect of it, made me a good candidate for the ESU, in addition to the police work that I’d done in the past.”

Reed’s ESU knowledge, training and experience is enhancing his military mission as well.

“Now, having been in the ESU certainly helps me here as well,” he said. “Particularly when I work with pararescue Airmen, I am familiar with many of those skills, and having a background of what they may be doing certainly helps.”

While deployed to Africa, Reed embeds and works with many types of units.

“My uniform says Air Force, but I’m on the ground with all different services,” Reed said. “One day I could be doing a ground mission with an Army company, the next day I could be doing a training full mission profile scenario with Air Force pararescue and anything in between.

Reed also works with military members from partner nations, even earning his French Parachutist Badge after participating in a French airborne jump last September.

“A great thing about being deployed here is the opportunity to work with our coalition partners. I have a good working relationship with the French JTACs, my counterparts. Meeting like-minded folks in different services and branches and from different countries is a really cool part of the job.”

Whether working with coalition partners halfway around the world or protecting the people of his city, Reed serves his country with duty, distinction and diligence, no matter the uniform he is wearing.