Airman uses security skills to help ADT 4 mission

Story and photos by Sgt. Paul Evans, KY ADT 4 Unit Public Affairs and Historian Representative

120525-A-UH571-93

Staff Sgt. Jeff Ward of Georgetown, Ky. conducts a roaming patrol during a mission in southern Afghanistan on May 25, 2012. Ward, a member of the Kentucky National Guard’s Agribusiness Development Team 4, serves in Kentucky with the Louisville, Ky. based 123rd Contingency Response Group. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Paul Evans)

FORWARD OPERATING BASE PASAB, Afghanistan — Air Force Staff Sgt. Jeff Ward, a 43-year-old Georgetown, Ky. resident, got his first taste of military service 25 years ago. Originally spending seven years in the  infantry and special operations with the Marine Corps, he has since spent the past six in security forces with the Air National Guard’s 123rd Contingency Response Group in Louisville, Ky.

In between the Marine Corps and the Air Force, Ward made a brief stop as a military policeman with the Kentucky Army National Guard, with which he deployed to Iraq in 2004. He also spent in six months in Baghdad, Iraq working as a civilian contract for Blackwater Security.

As a civilian, Ward is a federal officer with the Federal Protection Service. He also runs a small bodyguard company on the side called Internal Solutions, Inc. which he founded in 2009.

Now Ward brings his experience to the Kentucky National Guard’s Agribusiness Development Team 4 to help with various aspects of security.

“I’m a TC (truck commander), I taught the PSD (personnel security) and I run the ranges,” Ward said.

“All of my civilian training and military training helped me out on this mission.  My age, my experience, because I’ve been through all of this before…it’s easier to tell (instruct) people that haven’t been through this.”

“Jeff (Ward), he’s an awesome guy,” said Air Force Staff Sgt. Raphael Williams of Louisville, Ky. “He’s always laughing, just joking. You always see a smile on his face.”

“He’s (Ward) just nuts. I like him, though,” added Air Force Staff Sgt. Austin McDonald of Louisville, Ky. “From his experiences, he knows personal security details pretty well. He’s taught us a lot about that, so it’s good to know.”

Ward said his previous stints have helped him learn how to discuss deployment with his 8-year-old son Micah and 9-year-old daughter Abby.

“I’ve deployed before, so I knew how to talk to my kids about me leaving,” Ward said. “My family…they understand it too. All the time in the military and all the times I went over before helped me deal with family better.”

120402-A-UH571-166

Staff Sgt. Jeff Ward (right) of Georgetown, Ky. advises Master Sgt. John Black (left) of Frankfort, Ky. on operation of a weapons range during a mission in southern Afghanistan on April 2, 2012. Ward, a member of the Kentucky National Guard’s Agribusiness Development Team 4, serves in Kentucky with the Louisville, Ky. based 123rd Contingency Response Group. (U.S.Army photo by Sgt. Paul Evans)

“It’s been kind of slow, but it’s been alright,” Ward said of the mission in Afghanistan. “I like a lot of the people here. There are a lot of good people in this unit.”

“They’re people you’re able to talk to, spend time with, somebody to hang out with,” Ward noted. “Somebody I can go overseas and hang out with, have fun with.”

Ward looked forward to returning home to continue training and continue working.  He said he is scheduled to continue his military knowledge with attendance at new Air Force courses.

About kentuckyguard