OSI on the case in Hawaii

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Erin Baxter
  • 15th Wing Public Affairs

The number of different units on base can seem countless, especially in a joint base environment. There are so many people who have different jobs and lives, working together to form one military machine.

The Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Detachment 601 on Hickam Field here, is unique among the Joint Base and other AFOSI units across the Air Force.

AFOSI Det. 601 Special Agents work closely with local Hawaiian law enforcement, partnering with the local High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.

Only certain units are designated for this interaction when Congress recognizes a drug epidemic in that region.

To this day, AFOSI Det. 601 works closely with local HIDTA officials to remove various illegal substances from the area, such as cocaine, crystal methamphetamine, opioids and cannabis.

“We catch criminals,” said SA John Huerta of Det. 601. “At the end of the day, we’re taking those people off of the streets, and making the base safer by removing those negative impacts.” 

Not only that, AFOSI works closely with specials agents in the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Army Criminal Investigation Command and Military Intelligence.

Fostering these connections helps them further exploit criminal intelligence or cyber threats and ensures the entire island keeps up to date on any potential danger.

Squadron leaders will approach AFOSI special agents with areas of concern, such as drug use or sexual assault. They conduct investigations on base and then report their findings to the leadership it pertains to.        

“A lot of people are afraid to talk to us because they assume we’re here to get them into trouble, but that’s not the case,” said SA Huerta. “We are unbiased. We prefer people don’t get into trouble, but it happens.”

"An AFOSI special agent’s day-to-day mission may vary from interrogating potential suspects, conducting fraud investigations, questioning bystanders who may have information, providing counter-intelligence support, or conducting security detail on the flightline for distinguished visitors," explained SA Joel Cook of Det. 601, who was the winner of the Hawaii State Law Enforcement Officials Association 2019 Military Officer of the Year Award.

For more information on AFOSI, visit their website: https://www.osi.af.mil.