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Top Cop visits Offutt defenders

man briefs other man in dark room.

Brig. Gen. Roy W. Collins, Director of Security Forces, tours the small arms firing range Feb. 25, 2020 at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. This firing range was damaged during the flood in 2019. (U.S. Air Force by Charles J. Haymond)

Man briefs other man in room with TV and other military member in the background

Capt. John Clements III, left, 55th Security Forces operations officer, briefs Brig. Gen. Roy W. Collins, right, director of Security Forces, on the new base defense operations center Feb. 25, 2020 at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. (U.S. Air Force photo by Charles J. Haymond)

Line of people sit at table eating and talking.

Brig. Gen. Roy W. Collins, director of Security Forces, sits with some 55th SFC defenders Feb. 25, 2020 while eating breakfast inside the Ronald L. King dining facility at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. (U.S. Air Force photo by Charles J. Haymond)

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. --

The 55th Security Forces Squadron was on full display before the Air Force’s Top Cop during his one-day tour here Feb. 25, 2020. 

Brig. Gen. Roy W. Collins, director of Security Forces, and Chief Master Sgt. Tamala L. Hartz, Security Forces career field manager, came to visit Offutt’s defenders, observe their well-being and talk about how they can help their future success. 

“Thanks for inviting me and Chief Hartz.” Collins said. “We know your wing commander well, and he wanted to allow us to get out and see the team.”

The 55th SFS consists of twelve flights, which are all dedicated to supporting the Air Combat Command’s largest wing and a diverse community of more than 54,000 military and retirees. 

“We have a lot of units, a lot of defenders, 38,000 of us getting after this mission every single day,” Collins said. “Your feedback becomes very valuable to us as we talk about the direction our career field is going, what we’re doing and what we’re getting right.”

During the visit, Collins toured various facilities that were flooded in 2019 to determine what ways he can aid the 55th SFS with accomplishing their mission. While viewing these areas he was also able to see and understand the innovative ways the defenders were using to the mission moving forward.  

Collins and some of the 55th SFS defenders participated in a resiliency luncheon held in the Strategic Air Command Memorial Chapel annex. The defenders were able to get very candid with Collins and one another. 

“We talked about resiliency and it lets us know it is okay not to be okay,” said Senior Airman Micayla Heard, 55th SFS response force leader. “What that means is, it is okay to go to mental health, it is okay to reach for help, it is okay to be on duties not to involve firearms and it is okay.”

Collins shared a little of what he observed during his visit.

“The cultural environment that we’re talking about developing in our defender nation exists already in the 55th SFS,” Collins said. “You don't have to look very far to figure out whether or not you have people that are willing to build a cultural environment they are comfortable with and who don’t mind coming forward and talking to a friend, someone they work with or their supervisor. This is same environment we want to create in all our defender squadrons.”