341st SFG headquarters showcases new look

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Eydie Sakura
  • 341st Space Wing Public Affairs Office
As soon as you walk through the door, "Bam!" his weapon is on you. It doesn't matter where you are in the room, that Airman's eyes and M-16 muzzle are tracing your movements. Fortunately for you, it's only an optical illusion of a two-dimensional painting on the entrance wall of the 341st Security Forces Group's headquarters. 

The mural is just one aspect of the groups' efforts to create an open, friendly and interesting environment for the security forces team and its visitors. When the 341st SFG took over the basement of building 500 in 2004, it was very sterile with white walls and gray carpet. 

"We have wanted to do something with this area for a long time but we never had the resources to do it," said Chief Master Sgt. Larry Wilson, 341st SFG superintendent. "We have to take care of the troops and their posting requirements, such as cold weather gear and equipment. We had competing agendas and you have to prioritize. At the same time, it's important to have an identity." 

This identity and display of heritage came to fruition when a former security forces member walked into the building and came face-to-face with a blank wall. 

"I thought the wall would make a great place for a mural," said Bob Stillwell, 341st Communications Squadron contracted graphic artist. "I was a cop during Vietnam from 1969 to 1972. I liked law enforcement and it was one of the reasons I wanted to do the mural. There are some pretty exciting aspects of that career field." 

Mr. Stillwell made his way down to Col. Steve Asher, 341st SFG commander, and asked him if it was alright to paint the mural and showcased his ideas of what he wanted to paint, which was something with a lot of color and different aspects of the security forces career field. 

"Bob spent more than 230 hours volunteering his time painting this mural," Colonel Asher said. "He worked after hours, weekends and during holidays. His son came here from Washington on several occasions on his time off to help, too. It really is outstanding and I hope it stays here for a long time." 

The mural welcomes visitors and security forces team members, but once past the entry way, people are engulfed with an array of posters and photographs that line the hallway walls. More than 50 photos, ranging from World War I to present day, show off the work security forces people have been doing for decades. There is also a heritage uniform display as well. 

"When I first got down here to the 341st SFG, I realized the unit needed to be re-blued into their heritage," said Chief Master Sgt. Jerry Hanes, 341st Operations Group interim superintendent. "I found a display case that was not being used and I have a large selection of historical artifacts and some are from security forces." 

The group also put up directional signs and arrows to make their headquarters area more user-friendly and customer service oriented. 

"We also hung up the Airman's Creed and anti-DUI messages throughout the floor," Chief Wilson said. "Bob and Chief Hanes get my vote for heroes of the year. Their donations of time and effort made this place look professional and it highlights our warrior ethos." 

The security forces identity has changed over time and evolves with the changing Air Force, but the warrior ethos permeates everything the 341st SFG does. 

"It's who we are," Chief Wilson said. "We are the warriors of the Air Force. We carry a gun on a daily basis. It's what we do. Anyone who sees us identifies our badges and our berets. It's who we are and everyone knows it."