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RAF Mildenhall, RAF Lakenheath team up to honor defenders

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Ricky Sizemore, 100th Security Forces Squadron flight commander, oversees a formation during the opening ceremony for National Police Week at RAF Mildenhall, England, May 13, 2019. National Police Week was first established in 1962 under the directive of former President John F. Kennedy to honor fallen law enforcement officers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Benjamin Cooper)

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Ricky Sizemore, 100th Security Forces Squadron flight commander, oversees a formation during the opening ceremony for National Police Week at RAF Mildenhall, England, May 13, 2019. National Police Week was first established in 1962 under the directive of former President John F. Kennedy to honor fallen law enforcement officers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Benjamin Cooper)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Lawrence Wyatt, 100th Security Forces Squadron commander, speaks at the opening ceremony for National Police Week at RAF Mildenhall, England, May 13, 2019. The purpose of Police Week is to honor law enforcement members who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Benjamin Cooper)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Lawrence Wyatt, 100th Security Forces Squadron commander, speaks at the opening ceremony for National Police Week at RAF Mildenhall, England, May 13, 2019. The purpose of Police Week is to honor law enforcement members who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Benjamin Cooper)

Members of the 100th and 48th Security Forces Squadrons participate in a ruck march at RAF Mildenhall, England, May 13, 2019. The week of May 15, is designated National Police Week and honors fallen law enforcement officers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Benjamin Cooper)

Members of the 100th and 48th Security Forces Squadrons participate in a ruck march at RAF Mildenhall, England, May 13, 2019. The week of May 15, is designated National Police Week and honors fallen law enforcement officers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Benjamin Cooper)

Members of the 100th and 48th Security Forces Squadrons pose for a photo at RAF Mildenhall, England, May 13, 2019. Multiple Police Week events are scheduled throughout the week on both bases, ending with the final retreat ceremony on May 17, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Benjamin Cooper)

Members of the 100th and 48th Security Forces Squadrons pose for a photo at RAF Mildenhall, England, May 13, 2019. Multiple Police Week events are scheduled throughout the week on both bases, ending with the final retreat ceremony on May 17, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Benjamin Cooper)

RAF MILDENHALL, England --

The 100th Security Forces Squadron kicked off National Police Week with an opening ceremony and a 5K ruck march at RAF Mildenhall, England, May 13, 2019.

National Police Week was first established in 1962 under the directive of former President John F. Kennedy. The former president designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls is known as “Police Week.”

This year, the 100th SFS teamed up with their partners at the 48th Security Forces Squadron at RAF Lakenheath.

“Typically we do these separately, but we decided to join forces and give people a lot more opportunities to take advantage of at RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath,”said Tech. Sgt. Jessica Vizcaino, 100th SFS lead instructor. “Doing it jointly has been challenging, but it’s been very rewarding by demonstrating how cops band together no matter where we are or what we’re doing.”

There are a variety of events planned for this year’s Police Week, both at RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath.

“In addition to the 5K and ruck march there will be a weightlifting competition, Defender’s challenge, basketball, golf and softball tournaments, as well as the retreat ceremony on May 17,” said Tech. Sgt. Nicholas Henson, 100th SFS NCO in charge of physical security. 

Police Week is a time to honor law enforcement members who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.

“I think about honoring our fallen, but this is also about honoring those who continue to fight every day,” Vizcaino said. “Whether its in combat zones or mental resiliency, it’s about continuing the fight and upholding the legacy of security forces, while at the same time investing in the future of our career field.”

A Defender’s job is to serve and protect. While this week is about honoring their fallen, they also see it as an opportunity to give back even more to the people they are already looking after. 

“Everything we get we are donating to charity Hope for the Warriors- that’s what it’s all about, giving back, and that’s what motivates and drives me,” Henson said. “During my time in the Air Force, my best experiences have been when I get to work with other people, from different backgrounds and this is an opportunity to bring them in and share this experience.”