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Ellsworth defenders bring the community together for National Police Week

Airmen from the 28th Security Forces Squadron participated in a 6.4K ruck march at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., May 10, 2021.

Airmen from the 28th Security Forces Squadron participated in a 6.4K ruck march at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., May 10, 2021. The ruck march is one of the many events Airmen at Ellsworth participated in during National Police Week -- a week that pays homage to the sacrifices of police officers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Ward)

Base leadership cuts a ribbon to unveil the new 28th Security Forces Squadron gym at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., May 10, 2021.

Base leadership cuts a ribbon to unveil the new 28th Security Forces Squadron gym at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., May 10, 2021. The new gym is dedicated to defenders who gave their lives in the line of duty. The facility will help security forces members stay fit to fight while also paying homage to their fallen brothers and sisters. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Ward)

Military Working Dog Nicolas, who is assigned to the 28th Security Forces Squadron, obeys his handler’s command during a demonstration at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., May 11, 2021.

Military Working Dog Nicolas, who is assigned to the 28th Security Forces Squadron, obeys his handler’s command during a demonstration at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., May 11, 2021. MWDs assist their handlers with day-to-day operations and play a role in base security. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Ward)

A defender from the 28th Security Forces Squadron pays respect to the flag and those who’ve served under it during a retreat ceremony at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., May 14, 2021.

A defender from the 28th Security Forces Squadron pays respect to the flag and those who’ve served under it during a retreat ceremony at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., May 14, 2021. This event served as a culmination for National Police Week at Ellsworth. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Ward)

Airmen fold the flag during a retreat ceremony, signaling the end of National Police Week at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., May 14, 2021.

Airmen fold the flag during a retreat ceremony, signaling the end of National Police Week at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., May 14, 2021. National Police Week happens every year during May to honor the sacrifices made by law enforcement members around the United States. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Ward)

Capt. Kyle Byrd, a 37th Bomb Squadron pilot, fires an M-18 pistol during the National Police Week Excellence in Competition challenge at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., May 12, 2021.

Capt. Kyle Byrd, a 37th Bomb Squadron pilot, fires an M-18 pistol during the National Police Week Excellence in Competition challenge at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., May 12, 2021. The competition was part of a weeklong series of events hosted by the 28th Security Forces Squadron honoring law enforcement members across the country. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Hannah Malone)

Participants of the 2021 National Police Week Excellence in Competition pistol challenge review and score their partner’s targets at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., May 12, 2021.

Participants of the 2021 National Police Week Excellence in Competition pistol challenge review and score their partner’s targets at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., May 12, 2021. The 28th Security Forces Squadron celebrates National Police Week every year to honor the sacrifices members of law enforcement make each day. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Hannah Malone)

Defenders of the 28th Security Forces Squadron paused the National Police Week parade to stand for the national anthem at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., May 10, 2021.

Defenders of the 28th Security Forces Squadron paused the National Police Week parade to stand for the national anthem at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., May 10, 2021. The police week consisted of several events, including a ruck march, K- 9 and weapons demonstrations, and a firearm competition. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Hannah Malone)

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- The 28th Security Forces Squadron hosted a weeklong celebration honoring the men and women of law enforcement at Ellsworth Air Force Base, May 8-14.

First celebrated in 1962, at the proclamation of President John F. Kennedy, National Police Week continues to be a collaborative effort from many organizations paying homage to America’s law enforcement community.

“It is a tremendous honor to take part in events that continue to recognize law enforcement officers and defenders that have served, continue to serve, as well as pay the utmost tribute to those that have given the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty for the protection of others,” said Senior Master Sgt. James Parkis, the 28th SFS logistics superintendent.

The events of the week included a parade through base housing, ruck march, a defender gym unveiling, K-9 demonstrations, and an Excellence in Competition M-18 tournament.

“We continue to advance our critical missions to provide integrated air base defense and deliver defenders for expeditionary requirements around the globe,” said Lt Col Herndon, the 28th Security Forces Squadron commander, “the occasion to reflect on our past and honor our fallen with mission partners forges unbreakable bonds required for the challenges ahead.”   

The base community was invited to participate in all events. When asked what he wanted the community to know about the 28th SFS, Parkis’ answer was a simple one, “We are there for them.”

The week concluded with a retreat ceremony at the Bomb Wing Headquarters building. Defenders and base leaders lowered the flag in silence, remembering their brothers and sisters in arms who once donned the badge and beret.

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