Eyes of the eagle – Ellsworth’s OSI

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Hrair H. Palyan
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Agents with the Office of Special Investigations can be found around the world - working behind the scenes to ensure the successful completion of the Air Force mission is not impacted by subversive forces.

Like those serving in this elite cadre, Ellsworth's OSI Detachment 226 is responsible for identifying, exploiting and neutralizing criminal, terrorist and intelligence threats to the AF, Department of Defense and U.S. government.

"Most of the job involves people," said Special Agent Benjamin, Det. 226 OSI investigator. "While most people in the military are concerned with doing their job, there are always a small number of people that aren't, and those are the people we focus on."

Benjamin said it's his job to investigate criminal threats, find individuals who are breaking the law, apprehend them, and testify against them in judicial proceedings. In addition to all of the hands on work, he said there is a lot of paperwork that comes with each case.

"Time is always against an OSI agent," Benjamin said. "It takes time to document investigations, gather evidence and interview people. Many items of evidentiary value are time sensitive and can be lost if not collected quickly. People who witness a crime will forget important events over time. We run our investigations on a timeline that is constantly adjusted for priorities."

Special Agent Travis, Det. 226 OSI superintendent, said OSI investigates major crimes that could undermine the 28th Bomb Wing's ability to put bombs on target.

"Being a special agent means finding the truth," said Travis. "This is the foundation of what we do, whether in criminal investigations or counterintelligence matters. We provide our commanders and the intelligence community facts so they can make the most appropriate decisions."

Travis explained the life of an agent as one that is constantly filled with challenges that require agents to adapt and grow professionally and personally.

"A common challenge is an effective work-life balance," said Travis. "Special agent duty, although hugely rewarding, is also very demanding. Long duty days and after hours responses can be common. I maintain a healthy work-life balance by using good time management to ensure I have off-duty time to spend with my family."

Although highly taxing at times, the agents who are part of this dynamic career field consider themselves to be Ellsworth's first line of defense against criminals, spies and terrorists.

For more information, or to apply for AFOSI, call the Ellsworth OSI detachment at (605) 385-2852.