460th SFS member wins Sijan Leadership Award

Under a very watchful eye from his team, Capt. Jeff Beckford lets one of the local Iraqi children try on his kevlar helmet. "He looks mad because he was trying to act tough," Capt. Beckford said.

Under a very watchful eye from his team, Capt. Jeff Beckford lets one of the local Iraqi children try on his kevlar helmet. "He looks mad because he was trying to act tough," Capt. Beckford said.

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE. Colo. -- A Company Grade Officer from the 460th Security Forces Squadron recently won the 2006 Lance P. Sijan Leadership Award at the Air Force Space Command level for the company grade officer category.

Capt. Jeff Beckford, the operations officer for the 460th SFS, beat out other members from Air Force Space Command to win the Award.

"I am very humbled to be recognized for such a prestigious award," said Capt. Beckford. "I am very grateful and appreciative of being nominated."

Capt. Beckford runs the operations of over 200 security forces members and associated support personnel in the security of U.S. Air Force protection level one through four resources and critical Department of Defense resources key to missile warning, missile defense, and battle space awareness.

Additionally, Capt. Beckford volunteered for a 365-day tour in Iraq where his team trained 550 Iraqi Army soldiers on defensive tactics and weapons use. He also taught and graduated the first Iraqi Military Police platoon, giving the Iraqi Police capabilities of providing security.

"We know (Capt. Beckford) has been doing great things 'at the tip of the spear,'" said Maj. Thomas Morea, 460th SFS commander, on how he felt knowing that Capt. Beckford won the award. "His being recognized for this award was a great way to acknowledge his leadership at the front lines, his commitment to excellence and his service to his country.

"He is a warrior leader, tested in a combat environment," Maj. Morea added. "He leads from the front and at the same time he maintains empathy for his people while making decisions that ultimately must benefit our mission and the U.S. Air Force."

Capt. Beckford credited all those who believed in him throughout the process.

"I am very thankful to all the people who believed that I was deserving of this recognition."