By Airman 1st Class Phillip Houk, 460th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published August 21, 2012
BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- "OSI has the image of being the bad guy," said Special Agent Eugene Wade Air Force Office of Special Investigations Det. 801 superintendent. "Ninety percent of the people we talk to are not in trouble. We are trying to find information and not trying to get you in trouble."
OSI's primary mission is to identify, exploit and neutralize criminal, terrorist and intelligence threats to the Air Force, Defense Department and U.S. Government-not to get you in trouble. AFOSI is a crucial part of the Air Force mission. According to the AFOSI website, OSI provides independent, unbiased and centrally directed investigations of criminal activity.
"We are basically the federal law enforcement arm for the Air Force," said Special Agent Dana Grant, central systems fraud program manager. "We run felony-level criminal investigations that involve Air Force people, assets and money."
One of the key differences between OSI and other law enforcement agencies within the Air Force is its command structure. While each OSI command is designed to assist and protect the Air Force, they remain autonomous, allowing independent and unbiased investigations.
"I would like to welcome more people to come and talk to us," said Wade. "Even if we do not investigate, we have a good relationship with (the inspector general) and different groups around base, allowing us to direct you to who can help. We work to keep this base safe."
Buckley OSI deals with many cases including counterintelligence, fraud, and narcotic use.
A prime example of Buckley OSI in action is with the recent spice trend. Due to a unique relationship between Buckley OSI and the Colorado Forensics Lab, they were able to test for a Schedule I drug, receive the test for free, and receive results within two weeks. Through this investigation OSI was able to courts-marshal the individuals involved, becoming the first successful case of this kind within the Air Force.
"One of the challenging aspects of my job is that it is not like TV," said Grant. "It is a lot more difficult to gather the facts and prove or disprove an allegation. I wish we had some of the technology they have on 'CSI', but that does not actually exist."
For more information on AFOSI or how to join, go to http://www.osi.andrews.af.mil/main/welcome.asp