Special agents protect Airmen from threats

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jonathan Whitely
  • 50th Space Wing Public Affairs

Maintaining good order and discipline on an installation is an honorable task, but for the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, it is their duty.

Mark Borcina, AFOSI Detachment 807 special agent in charge, said OSI is the Air Force’s investigative arm.

“The Office of Special Investigations is the Air Force’s criminal investigative field operating agency under the administrative guidance and oversight of the inspector general of the Air Force,” he said. “It is a federal law enforcement agency with responsibility for conducting criminal investigations, counterintelligence and specialized investigative activities, protective service operations and integrated force protection for the Air Force. 

“The Office of Special Investigations conducts felony level investigations,” he said. “It’s our job to identify, exploit and neutralize criminal, intelligence and terrorist threats. We do that every day here at Schriever Air Force Base.”

Borcina said the safety of the installation, mission and Airmen is their highest priority.

“The Office of Special Investigations provides the counter-intelligence perspective,” he said. “We make sure adversaries cannot gather information on our Airmen and we also warn Airmen of possible threats in the area by providing briefings and instructions.”

Borcina said there are a lot of misconceptions about OSI across the Air Force.

“We’re not hiding in closets or bushes,” he said. “We try very hard to have an outward public image. It’s important we are accessible to Airmen and they can trust us.”

Borcina said remaining unbiased is critical to the OSI mission.

“Since we are assigned under the inspector general, we don’t fall under the base command structure, which allows us to conduct independent investigations,” he said. “When there’s an allegation, whether criminal in nature or a violation under the counter intelligence hat, we can look into it.”

Borcina said it is important to stay prepared for anything, foreign or domestic.

“With space constantly evolving, this domain is not only important to us, but our adversaries,” he said. “We need to protect that information to protect the security of our nation and our Airmen.”

Jeremiah Williams, AFOSI Det. 807 special agent, said anyone who qualifies can become an agent.

“Becoming an agent is about a six-to-eight month process followed by five months of training in Georgia,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what your career is, but we only take the highest performers to make sure we are performing at an elite level. It’s important to be extremely competent in our career field because we’re impacting human lives.”

Williams said OSI agents take their jobs very seriously.

“If we’re not investigating cases thoroughly then we’re letting down the Air Force and negatively impacting the mission,” he added.

Williams said there are different types of agents, including polygraph, cyber, protective services and forensic science agents.

“Despite all the specialties we have, it’s important to remember everyone in OSI is an agent first, their specialty comes second,” he said.

Williams said the job isn’t how Hollywood makes it seem.

“We’re not kicking in doors every day, there aren’t bombs going off,” he said. “It’s not as glamorous as TV makes it seem, but we still sit down and talk to people, conduct interviews and work with forensic agents to analyze evidence, they got that part right.”

Williams said OSI is here to serve members of the installation.

“We’re not out to get people,” he said. “We’re here to serve the base and keep the personnel safe through our criminal and counter intelligence operations.”

For more information about AFOSI, visit www.osi.af.mil .