JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas –
When crimes occur on Joint Base San Antonio, multiple law enforcement and investigative agencies stand ready to respond. These agencies work together on a regular basis during incidents and for specialized training sessions, like the one held at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston Oct. 21, hosted by Air Force Office of Special Investigations Detachment 404.
Providing the training were several Air Force OSI Special Agents who work as forensic science consultants. They provided detailed, hands-on training on crime scene response, documentation, and handling of evidence.
“Opportunities like these strengthen the relationships between the various Military Criminal Investigative Organizations across JBSA,” said Special Agent Lukasz Misiniec, Air Force OSI Senior Enlisted Leader at Detachment 404. “This allow us to refine our skills and procedures, as well as maintain flexibility during stressful incidents, and understand what each partner is responsible for.”
Coordination of efforts is key when it comes to crime or other scenes requiring investigation.
“When there is a crime scene on JBSA, Security Forces personnel are the first to arrive,” Misiniec said. “Because special agents arrive later, it is very important for them to understand what Security Forces processes are, and what they do, which, in turn, helps ensure scene integrity and collaboration in crime scene processing. These are both essential aspects that preserve evidence and facilitate scene reconstruction, if needed.”
Misiniec noted that participating in the training session, which involved mock scenes and realistic scenarios, in addition to Detachment 404 agents, were 502nd and 902nd Security Forces Squadron investigators, and Army Criminal Investigative Division agents.
Those in attendance appreciated the effort to synchronize on-scene responses and welcomed the opportunity to explore reinforced techniques provided.
“It’s always good to get together and learn everyone else’s roll to see where we fit in as Security Forces,” said Jose Salinas, 902nd Security Forces Squadron chief of investigations. “It also helps us to see where we all fit together.”
One person who paid special attention to the training was Tech. Sgt. Jesse Sengsouk, a member of the 502nd Security Forces Squadron who is preparing to become an OSI Agent.
“This was very beneficial, especially for me, preparing to transition to the OSI realm,” Sengsouk said. “Joint partnership is always a great thing. Seeing CID, investigations, and OSI from the detachments, with Security Forces – it is great to see them all together to focus on capturing the right information needed at a crime scene, to prosecute if need be.”
Senior Airman Kimberlee Hayek, a Brooke Army Medical Center medic who is retraining to be an OSI Agent, said the training was “very thorough and easy to understand and digest.”
Hayek said seeing the scenes from a different perspective might help medical personnel see how they could potentially disturb or damage a crime scene.
Throughout the day, the forensic science consultants created life-like scenes which brought a realistic feel that could not have been obtained in a typical classroom environment, which was greatly appreciated by Special Agent Donnell Arnold of the 11th Field Investigations Squadron.
The Air Force Office of Special Investigations detachments at JBSA belong to the 11th Field Investigations Squadron, which investigates felony criminal and counterintelligence matters affecting JBSA-Lackland, -Randolph and -Fort Sam Houston. Their area of responsibility extends to 79 counties in Texas, and their primary customers are the 502nd Air Base Wing, 37th Training Wing, 59th Medical Wing, Sixteenth Air Force, and 12th Flying Training Wing. While the squadron and detachments primarily investigate incidents across America’s largest joint base, they also work closely with other Federal agencies in the region, such as the National Security Agency, or NSA, Texas.