Day of the Defender

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Caleb S. Kimmell
  • 435 Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
On March 26, 2021, the 409th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron partnered with the 412th Security Forces Squadron at Edwards Air Force Base, California, for Day of the Defender. Day of the Defender was created to commemorate the lives of three Defenders from the 412th SFS that were lost in a three-month time span in 2020.
“This event really affected the Airmen’s morale and emotional state,” said Senior Airman Ashley Holland, sierra one’s Command Support Section Airman for the 409th Security Forces Squadron. “I think it gave them a sense of closure”.
Master Sergeant Gabriel Fraire, sierra five’s Superintendent, and Staff Sergeant Samantha Lipscomb, sierra three’s combined defense operations controller, both from the 409th ESFS, coordinated the event with the 412th SFS along with Dyno Corp, the Mental Health Office and 409th SFS leadership at Edwards AFB.
“2020 was an extremely hard year for Edwards defenders,” said Lipscomb. “Losing three of our own within a three month period was devastating. So once I saw my home station dedicated March 27th as ‘Day of the Defender,’ to honor those we lost last year,  I immediately reached out to members from Edwards on my flight and asked if they would be interested in participating in the ruck if I were to set it up and bring it to AB 201”.
Roughly 300 defenders from Nigerien Air Base 201, AB 101, and Prince Sultan Air Base, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, rucked to commemorate the fallen. In total, the deployed Airmen rucked 4.4 miles to honor the fallen Defenders.
“SSgt Lipscomb coordinated all the preparations to make this event successful with four different bases and in three different AORs, on the same day,” said Fraire. “An estimate of over 300 Security Forces members rucked for our three fallen defenders that day. This gave many members some form of closure that we were seeking since we have been operating in a COVID-19 environment and deployed”.
We Will Never Forget
SSgt Kylle White, End of Watch 22 February, 2020
SrA Timo Timoteo, End of Watch 27 April, 2020
A1C Corey Jones Jr., End of Watch 23 May, 2020
Rest Easy