EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
About 75% of Edwards Air Force Base's direct workforce is civilian with roughly 25% being military: a statistic you probably haven't known. But, if you pass any gate on base you may notice the barrier between military and civilian is not as big as you may think.
"For us being civilian we come from different backgrounds," Officer Raynard Manibusan, 412th Security Forces explained. "So it is good to integrate, work together and we learn from each other. We work so close hand in hand with everything."
More than two million public employees protect the nation through service in the armed forces, and more than 183,000 of them are Air Force civilian full-time, part-time, term, temp and nonappropriated fund Airmen.
Often working behind the scenes in support of their military teammates, civilians help provide a stable foundation at installations worldwide, shouldering in-garrison missions to enable military members to deploy in support of overseas contingencies.
Manibusan is a new civilian police officer under 412 SFS and he says it's only beneficial to work together hand in hand for the same goals and mission.
"There are other agencies such as Fire Department, local law enforcement, highway patrol that are civilian agencies," Manibusan explained. "There are CE, LRS, units like that so having that comradery especially if you have it within the entire base makes working together a lot easier.
Sharing the military perspective, Senior Airman Devin Malcolm, 412th Security Forces, explained that bridging the two backgrounds share different perspectives and ideas to conquer the same goal.
"You're never wrong with the more the better," Malcolm said. "It's fun to work together with a bunch of military people don't get me wrong, but it's nice to have a few different faces, backgrounds and ideas to put into the workforce so they can help us accurately police the base.
Leadership stressed this comradery only strengthens the team dynamic.
“Our civilian team members are invaluable to our mission and our family,” Capt. Andrew Metz, 412th Security Forces, explained. “In addition to providing a diverse background and compliment of experience, they also provide a level of continuity that is impossible to achieve with active duty personnel. Our civilian officers are experts on this installation and how to do the job, and I am proud to see them sharing their knowledge and mentoring our Airmen.”