News>A day in the life of Barksdale AFB OSI agents
Special Agent Adam Deem, Air Force Office of Special Investigation Detachment 219, shines light on a glass to reveal fingerprints on Barksdale Air Force Base, La. Deem dusted the glass with an orange powder that helps agents detect finger prints with ultraviolet light.(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Micaiah Anthony)
Air Force Office of Special Investigation agents look for suspicious activity at Barksdale Air Force Base, La. The AFOSI mission is to identify, exploit and neutralize criminal, terrorist and intelligence threats to the Air Force, Department of Defense and U.S. Government. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Micaiah Anthony)
Special Agent Adam Deem, Air Force Office of Special Investigation Detachment 219, dusts a glass for fingerprints on Barksdale Air Force Base, La. Dusting for finger prints involves dusting with fine particles of the powder to adhere to residue left by skin from palms, fingers and feet. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Micaiah Anthony)
by Airman 1st Class Micaiah Anthony
2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs
5/17/2012 - OSI HQ QUANTICO, Va. -- Air Force Office of Special Investigations agents around the world conduct a variety of services in support of the Air Force; Barksdale Air Force Base, La. agents are no different.
But, because of the often secretive nature of OSI's work, there might be some misconceptions about the mission.
"We have certain duties that we can't let everyone know about," said Special Agent Robert Binns, AFOSI Detachment 219, Barksdale AFB. "If we did, it could give the bad guys a cue on what we are doing. We are simply criminal investigators and our main focus is counter intelligence and force protection."
OSI has career fields or areas of specialties similar to other major criminal investigation agencies.
"We have investigating agents, calligraphers, polygraph agents, cyber investigators, technical agents that work with electronic surveillance and forensic science consultants," Binns said.
OSI's mission is to identify, exploit and neutralize criminal, terrorist and intelligence threats to the Air Force, Department of Defense and U.S. government.
"In the big picture, we can investigate anything in DoD," Binns said. "If a civilian off base tries to target or sell drugs to an Airman, we can run an investigation on them with local authorities."
Det. 219's mission can take them far beyond the local Barksdale area.
"We cover 42 parishes in Louisiana and 41 counties in eastern Texas, so we have a very large area of responsibility," said Special Agent Bill Messina, Det. 219 special agent in charge. "It's not just Barksdale Airmen that we support either, we support all Air Force assets."
Due to the detachment's large jurisdiction, working with other law enforcement agencies is vital.
"We work with security forces, local police departments, the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Joint Terrorism Task Force, Internet Crimes against Children, the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement - pretty much any law enforcement agency," Messina said.
Airmen and their families all around the world can help keep their bases safe by reporting any suspicious activity through the Eagle Eyes program.
"If we get help from everyone on base we would have roughly 17,000 pairs of eyes to help us identify threats," Binns said. "If you see something, report it. Don't think that any information is insignificant because it may be the piece of the puzzle we need."
5/20/2012 7:02:43 PM ET As a Special Investigations Officer do you all mainly work Stateside or are there Special Investigations Officers positioned on all Air Force bases around the world What is the most stressful part of your jobWhat type of training did you receive in order to become proficient at your jobIs this a position that once you were out of the military you could easily find a civilian positionThanks.
OSI response: OSI agents conduct operations in support of the U.S. Air Force all over the world. If you are interested in joining OSI, please contact the OSI Public Affairs office through the email address linked from the home page. Thanks for your interest in OSI.