Unity in Service: Commemorating Police Week at MacDill AFB

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Established 59 years ago by President John F. Kennedy, Police Week has stood as a national tribute to honor law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to others' safety and protection.

Commemorating this significant observance, the 6th Security Forces Squadron hosted a series of events at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, May 13-17, 2024.

"These Airmen play a critical role in protecting and defending the base and supporting missions around the globe every day.” said Col. Adam Bingham, 6th Air Refueling Wing Commander. “This week is an opportunity to recognize their sacrifices and commitment to service, and say thank you for all you do!”

The events organized by the 6th SFS throughout the week aimed to not only commemorate the fallen but also foster camaraderie and teamwork among service members.

“Police Week is an opportunity to honor and remember those Defenders who paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country, as well as present civilian and military law enforcement officers,” said Tech. Sgt. Peter Marquez, 6th SFS noncommissioned officer in charge of mobility.

The week began with a memorial ruck, where service members carried the memories of fallen comrades as they marched across the base.

Sgt. Justin Brunson, 6th SFS marine patrol crew lead said, "Police week is about honoring the legacy of the Security Forces and civilian law enforcement community. It’s about remembering the fallen Defenders and celebrating their accomplishments in life."

On Tuesday, participants competed in the Defenders Challenge, which was a test of skill, agility, and teamwork.

“The Defenders Challenge shows you the importance of relying on the person to your left and right and knowing that it can't be done alone,” said Tech. Sgt. Gordon Lunderman, 6th Security Forces Squadron flight sergeant, after completing the course. “It allows you to prove to yourself what you are capable of and how important being part of a team is.”

However, things got loud on Wednesday when the precision and expertise of Defenders were on full display during the Excellence in Competition shooting event.

“These events bring a fun competitive atmosphere to Police Week,” said Marquez. “It also gives us the opportunity to work on our team building skills, motivate and help each other push our limits as we get through the challenge.”

Friday wrapped up the week with a golf tournament and closing ceremony to honor the week's events and commemorate the sacrifices of fallen Defenders.

“Police week really brings the whole community together,” said Brunson. “These events show how much we all support each other and the sense of pride that we have as cops.”

Though Police Week has come to an end at MacDill AFB, the legacy of those who have given their all lives on, inspiring future generations to uphold the values of service, sacrifice, and unity.