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Defenders host familiarization visit for Lincoln law enforcement agencies

Military members and civilian police tour the flight line at the Lincoln Air Port

U.S. Air Force 2d Lt. Weslee Schauers, 55th SFS officer-in-charge of Lincoln security, provides an eyes-on view of the 55th Wing’s operating area at the Lincoln Airport to members of local law enforcement officials here Feb. 5, 2021. The officers received a mission overview, walked through hangar spaces and toured the mobile base defense operations center as well as entry control points along the flightline area among other things. (Air Force photo by Ryan Hansen)

Lincoln, Neb. --

Members of the 55th Security Forces Squadron welcomed a number of Lincoln law enforcement officers from across multiple agencies for a familiarization visit at the Lincoln Airport Feb. 5, 2021.

As Offutt Air Force Base transitions its aircraft operations to the Lincoln Airport for the next 18 months for its runway replacement, the 55th SFS wants to ensure they have a good working relationship with all local law enforcement agencies in the local area.

“The overall purpose was not only to get to know local law enforcement leads on a first name basis, but to simultaneously allow our local law enforcement partners the opportunity to get eyes on our operating environment,” said 2d Lt. Weslee Schauers, 55th SFS officer-in-charge of Lincoln security.

Officers from the Lincoln Police Department, Lincoln Airport Authority Police and Lancaster County Sherriff Department attended the visit, as did defenders from the 155th Air Refueling Wing, who also operate out of the Lincoln Airport.

“Law enforcement agencies depend on each other for mutual enforcement support, intelligence gathering and dissemination, and ensuring the safety of our citizens and each other,” said Chief Bob Frank, Lincoln Airport Authority Police chief. “A good working relationship with other agencies make these processes easier to execute which make us all more streamlined and accurate in our daily duties.”

“At the Lincoln Police Department we place a high priority on forming good partnerships with other agencies throughout the community,” said Capt. Anthony Butler, Lincoln Police Department. “For several decades we have benefited from a successful partnership among the various agencies and now with the 55th Wing operating off of the west ramp we welcome the military into our law enforcement partnership.”

The officers received a mission overview, walked through hangar spaces and toured the mobile base defense operations center as well as entry control points along the flightline area among other things.

“We wanted to provide situational awareness on a tactical control level for our supporting agencies, allowing them to identify entry points, staging points, emergency vehicle access points and overall awareness through the lens of a law enforcement officer if they were ever called upon by us to respond and assist,” Schauers said.

As the base transitions more aircraft and personnel start to Lincoln over the next few weeks, the 55th SFS will rely on these local law enforcement agencies more and more to help ensure the safety of all operations moving forward.

“I look forward to the 55th Wing being at (the Lincoln Airport) and working closely with them to insure a smooth, safe, and enjoyable transition and stay,” Frank said. “Everyone I have met is knowledgeable, friendly, and cooperative in making this transition a smooth one and it has been a great start to a great relationship.”

“This was a good opportunity for local law enforcement to meet with Air Force personnel from the 55th Wing,” Butler said. “Hopefully (they) quickly come to realize that the Lincoln Police Department is a flexible organization, quick to respond and always willing to help.”