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Custom Challenge Coin of the Month – September 2016

This month’s featured custom military challenge coin was issued for outstanding performance to members of the 52d Security Forces Squadron. Stationed at Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany, the 52d Security Forces Squadron has a long and storied history starting right after World War II.

Originally established as the 52d Fighter Wing all weather in 1948, the 52d served as an air defense unit in the United States Northeast region. It was responsible for keeping the skies safe and clear from Soviet invasion. Gradually, as United States foreign policy and security protocol changed over time, the need for a Continental Air Patrol decreased. In 1971, it was decided to move the 52d to Spangdahlem air base in Germany. Along with the 52d, tactical squadrons from the 36th Tactical Fighter Wing also shore up the forces at the base. Working closely with NATO and USA Fe, the 52d forms an integral part of the European air defense infrastructure.

The relationship between the 52nd and European forces has been productive on both sides. When NATO Squadron exchange programs occur the 52d often hosts foreign forces, training them in the United States Air Force way. This kind of joint training cements strategic missions and solidifies bonds between Allied Nations.

The coin itself is intricately wraught, featuring both embossed and debossed detailing on both sides. On the obverse, we find the Seal of the Department of the Air Force Security Police rendered in nickel finish, superimposed on the flags of the United States and Germany, signaling our ongoing joint mission to protect Europe and America from foreign aggression. The inscription across the top identifies this coin as belonging to a member of the 52d Security Forces Squadron, just as the inscription along the bottom identifies Spangdahlem Air Base as the origin of this coin.

The reverse tells the story of the 52nd in images. Prominent among them is the eagle superimposed over a map of Europe and Africa, symbolizing our air superiority. The silhouettes of fighter planes fly below, reminding all who see the coin that America’s air power is unmatched. The rank badge of the Commander sits at the top, along with the inscription “Presented by the Commander.” “Outstanding Performance” runs across the bottom edge of the coin. One can only imagine the pride this coin engendered when it was presented to its original recipient. It’s fine detailing and fascinating imagery tell a story of the 52d’s long heritage in Europe.

Starting in 1985, the 52nd began to conduct wild weasel training exercises. Wild weasel, the Air Force’s name for missions using aircraft equipped with radar-controlled missiles to destroy The radars and SAM installations of enemy air defense systems, became the 52d’s sole mission priority.

After September 11th, 2001, the 52d Fighter Wing began to be retooled for possible future combat missions. Soon after, people and Equipment were deployed in support of operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Within 100 hours of the combat Readiness notification, planes from Spangdahlem Air Base were ready for active duty. Members of the 52d continue to support combat operations in and around the Middle East to this day.

On base, the men and women of the United States Air Security Forces help keep order just in the same way as military police. They play in the central role in the continued smooth operations of United States Air Force facilities all around the world. Bringing military Justice to bare, they make sure that the law is being followed everywhere they go. Security Forces personnel are vital not only for the law enforcement capability they provide, but also for preserving and defending the reputation of American armed forces in foreign lands. They take great pains to make sure that the conduct of military personnel is in fitting with the overall mission of the United States military to be a bright and shining defender of Liberty everywhere it can be found.

The most elite air Security Forces personnel where the blue beret. Just like the famous Green Berets, the blue beret is awarded to those soldiers who display the necessary traits to be inducted into the elite echelon of the air Security Forces. Though the public might not know as much about the Blue Berets, Air Force personnel know that these experienced, versatile soldiers are absolutely essential for the continued good order in military bases in facilities worldwide.

With the advent of the Global War on Terror, it has become more and more necessary to take forces from other branches of the military to work in Army rolls. This change has been necessitated by the ever-changing battlefield and ever-changing personnel needs. Some military commanders have expressed concern about stretching soldiers into rules they must be trained for on the job, but it seems that the men and women who take up the challenge have more than accomplished the mission goals placed in front of them. This, coupled with lengthened deployments, emphasizes the commitment to quality in every area of work that these personnel bring to the table. Air Security forces have been among those used in these capacities, providing on-base security not only to Air Force bases but the bases of the other branches as well. When no one else can get the job done, using these soldiers in these rules guarantees security gaps are filled and command staff, equipment, and allied forces have the security they need to operate.

Unit Coins, an American-owned company, loves to celebrate the accomplishments of the soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who keep our country safe. Their custom military challenge coins are made to your exact specifications and can include any design detail your mind can imagine. There are very few limits to what we can do with custom military challenge coins. From the simple and austere to the most complicated flipper coin to coins with special meaning to those who receive them, Unit Coins is delighted to help you make your custom challenge coin dream a reality. Call the custom coin designers at Unit Coins today for a free challenge coin design consultation.

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