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Hanscom Blue Knights named best in command

Members from the 66th Security Forces squadron shoot during a Controlled F.O.R.C.E. training event at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., Nov. 5, 2020. The 66 SFS was recently named the Air Force Materiel Command Outstanding Small Size Security Forces Unit for 2020. (U.S. Air Force photo by Linda LaBonte Britt)

Members from the 66th Security Forces squadron shoot during a Controlled F.O.R.C.E. training event at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., Nov. 5, 2020. The 66 SFS was recently named the Air Force Materiel Command Outstanding Small Size Security Forces Unit for 2020. (U.S. Air Force photo by Linda LaBonte Britt)

Senior Airman Ajay Cease, from left, Airman 1st Class Carlos Laboy Colon, and Airman Carolyn Raymond, members of the 66th Security Forces Squadron, participate in an active shooter exercise at Fort Devens, Mass., July 14. 66 SFS personnel participated in the training exercise to evaluate the installation’s readiness and emergency response capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Todd Maki)

Senior Airman Ajay Cease, from left, Airman 1st Class Carlos Laboy Colon, and Airman Carolyn Raymond, members of the 66th Security Forces Squadron, participate in an active shooter exercise at Fort Devens, Mass., July 14, 2020. The 66 SFS was recently named the Air Force Materiel Command Outstanding Small Size Security Forces Unit for 2020. (U.S. Air Force photo by Todd Maki)

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Air Force Materiel Command announced this week that the 66th Security Forces Squadron here is the command’s best Outstanding Small Size Security Forces Unit for 2020.

The command win marks the unit’s sixth consecutive title as it competes for best small-sized squadron in the Air Force, an honor the squadron won in 2019. Leaders from the 66 SFS say this pattern speaks volumes to the caliber of defenders in the squadron.

“The dedication of our Blue Knights, military and civilian alike, to the unit and Team Hanscom is contagious, which is why we see such a high level of sustained superior performance from the exceptional professionals in the squadron,” said Maj. Shane Watts, 66 SFS commander.

Among achievements highlighted in the citation, 66 SFS led superior defense operations; supported three wartime campaigns; and streamlined base access systems through robotic process automation, winning an Air Force “Best Business Practice” award.

However, the unit met many challenges in 2020. Watts said his team faced COVID-19 and evolving policy head on, adapted to deployment operation tempos, and processed the loss of Senior Airman Jason “Khai” Phan, who was killed while serving overseas in September.

“We’ve overcome these challenges through a team and family culture, relying on each other to cover the blind spots when a fellow defender needed to take a knee,” said Watts. “Our unit is built on a foundation of trust; the COVID environment tested that foundation, but defenders answered back.”

Chief Master Sgt. Justin Geers, 66 SFS manager, said win or lose at the Air Force level, he is most proud of his squadron’s resiliency.

“Our defenders are innovative thinkers who find creative ways to benefit the Hanscom community collectively,” said Geers. “Determination and pride drive our ability to overcome challenges but keep us grounded in our ethics to lead and support our teammates.”