To honor and prevent: Wolf Pack observes police week

by Senior Airman Katrina Heikkinen, 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
U.S. Air Force

KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea  -- Members of the Wolf Pack paid tribute to security forces members who made the ultimate sacrifice and recognized the importance of crime prevention during National Police Week observances here, May 11 to 15.

Originally proclaimed Peace Officers Memorial Day in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy, May 15 and the week it falls in has since been designated as a time to pay tribute to local, state and federal law enforcement professionals.

"[Police week] brings a sense of pride to show our vast capabilities to the Wolf Pack family," said Master Sgt. Ninanona Payongayong, 8th Security Forces Squadron S3-Operations Bravo Flight, flight chief.

"Police Week allows Wolf Pack Defenders to showcase what 'Defend the Base' is all about."

This year's observance of police week recognized the Wolf Pack's defenders varied skillsets by highlighting their role in protecting the people, property and resources of the U.S. Air Force by including demonstrations by the military working dogs, combat arms and weapons display, crime prevention skits, a defender challenge and a retreat ceremony.

"Police week is a perfect community outreach opportunity to give the Wolf Pack a better understanding of how law enforcement impacts them, how we respond and what we're trying to do so that they feel like they can comfortably come to us," said Tech. Sgt. Paul Lamelin, 8th SFS resource protection NCO in charge. "This year, we focused on alcohol-related incidents and the role every Airman - not just security forces - plays in crime prevention."

In an effort to visibly demonstrate the dangers of irresponsible alcohol consumption, the Sexual Assault Theater Group teamed up with Lamelin to conduct skits involving Airmen simulating drunk/disorderly conduct to unknowing observers in various public settings during duty hours.

"Realistic scenarios offer a front row seat to behavior that is unbecoming," said Master Sgt. Valda Wilson, 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs superintendent and SATG director. "We wanted people to be uncomfortable. We wanted to turn inactive bystanders into active bystanders and for them to realize that it's ok to get involved when they see a situation that may not turn out well. If we can get just one person to second guess themselves and do the right thing, we have accomplished our goal."

According to Lamelin, presenting off-putting situations in the middle of the duty day resulted in a social experiment that tested the Wolf Pack's wingmanship.

"Showing the Wolf Pack how [alcohol-related] incidents directly impact them through these skits allows them to digest this information while in a sober state of mind," Lamelin said. "Our intent was to see if Airmen would intervene when coming across an obviously belligerent, drunk person on base. Luckily, we have good wingmen and supporters who were able to stand up and do just that, even if it meant getting out of their comfort zone. We can use more people like that."

Kunsan's observance of police week honored law enforcement professionals, but also reminded the Wolf Pack of their role to remain Airmen of integrity, courage and conviction in their day-to-day life and the necessity of bystander intervention.

Payongayong also said that every Airman has a responsibility to be a Wingman and take care of one another, both on and off duty. The first core value - integrity first - charges every Airman to do what is right when no one is looking.

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