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Warrior of the Week – Airman 1st Class Matthew Baxter

By Airman 1st Class Ian Hoachlander | Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs | September 07, 2010

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Airman 1st Class Matthew Baxter is a member of the 628th Security Forces Squadron and has been stationed at Joint Base Charleston for one year. He is currently serving in the Middle East with the 405th Security Forces Squadron on his first deployment.

In his deployed unit, Airman Baxter works as a security forces armorer, who is responsible for the accountability of more than 300 weapons, more than 23,000 rounds and $640,000 in Air Force assets.

"I support the mission by providing our security forces defenders with the proper means of fulfilling the mission in our area of responsibility," said Airman Baxter. "The United States Military saves an upward of $1.2 billion annually because of the impact my fellow Airmen and I have accomplished in this AOR."

While stationed at Joint Base Charleston, Airman Baxter serves as an entry control officer for points around Charleston Air Force Base. His duties include maintaining and controlling all personnel desiring access to the installation. This role requires a keen sense of intuition along with military bearing, professionalism, tact and an understanding of the installations laws and procedures.

"Life away from Charleston is filled daily with manageable challenges and memorable occurrences," explained Airman Baxter. "Just because there is sand, does not mean it is a vacation; rules and code of conduct applies just like Charleston. For the most part, the deployment has been what others have said it to be. Of course, one truly never knows until setting foot on ground for oneself."

This "warrior of the week" hails from a town located in Columbus, Ohio, called Groveport and enlisted in the Air Force in February of 2009.

"I, like some, came from a family with a rich military background," Airman Baxter said. "My father served 24 years in the United States Army, retiring with the rank of first sergeant. Through my childhood years I had become fascinated with the military way of life. When the time came to make a decision on which path to take in life, I chose the Air Force."

Currently, Airman Baxter's goal is to enjoy an extensive career in the Air Force, as well as further his dedication and live a lifestyle that his family would be proud of.

Airman Baxter contributes to Team Charleston's mobility mission by maintaining a positive attitude and a sense of readiness to accomplish any task presented to him.

"Aside from my duty, I have accepted a wide range of volunteer opportunities expanding from community volunteering and helping out at animal shelters, to more squadron related opportunities, such as flying relief effort to Haiti," explained Airman Baxter. "It would be safe to say that not a month has gone by that I have not volunteered for something."

Adjusting to a culture and a lifestyle on the other side of the world has been difficult, but something Airman Baxter has been able to overcome.

"While performing an outstanding job, Airman Baxter has almost completed his 5-level security forces craftsman career development courses, is a key member to the first established Defender's Council and plays intramural soccer for the squadron against our host nation counterparts, which has helped create a great working relationship," said Staff Sgt. Chainey Moates, 405 ESFS armory noncommissioned officer in charge.

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