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Guardsmen join forces during Cope North

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Divine Cox
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs

The importance Total Force Integration, put into place about 15 years ago, reigned supreme as the 36th Security Forces Squadron and the 254 SFS joined forces during exercise Cope North 22.

Exercise Cope North 2022 is an annual U.S. Pacific Air Forces joint/combined, multilateral field training exercise that focuses on training and building relationships with our regional allies and partners.
Guardsmen and active component Airmen in Guam have built a successful relationship by working together when that time comes.

“The working relationship with the 36th Wing has been seamless with respect to how our combat comptrollers, defenders, force support, and RED HORSE members provide capabilities during heightened states of workload across the Wing,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Anthony Lujan, 254th Air Base Group commander. “Our Guam Air National Guardsmen are always ready to take on active duty orders in order to provide the required capability to keep every Airmen, family member, and our nation safe.”

The 254 ABG provided 27 Guardsmen to fill gaps where manning fell short due to high operations tempo for 36 SFS defenders.

"The ability to quickly increase the combat power of any unit through TFI is an incredible force multiplier and is especially true in the base defense mission,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Dayne Foote, 36 SFS commander. “Due to the regular interactions between 254 SFS and the 36 SFS, having defenders capable of immediately showing up to help protect aircraft and personnel during high operations tempo or increased threat environments is invaluable to the ability of Andersen AFB to project air power across the Pacific.”

While integrating with the 36 SFS, they are tasked with providing security and law enforcement functions on the installation, providing force protection as agile combat employments are executed, conducting subject matter expert exchanges, or assisting with installation personnel readiness and support for contingency operation functions.

“When we integrate with our active duty defenders, we build those partnerships and our service members are given the opportunity to train and execute security forces duties alongside the 36 and 736 SFS,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Alvin Alvarez, 254 SFS commander. “Our mission is to provide ready and lethal Defenders to answer state and federal missions when activated.”

This collaboration award Guard Airmen the opportunity to be involved with partner nations and travel off-island to support active duty mission sets as well as a chance to hold key leadership positions within the squadrons and participate in PACAF exercises and conferences.
All Airmen train to the same standards and capabilities, which permits flexibly between the various Air Force components. This allows units to interact and work together, maximizes resources, and improves proficiency.

“The 254th Air Base Group mission is to provide a well-trained, well-equipped diversified and cohesive organization, ready to defend our nation and island,” said Lujan. “Total Force Integration has many definitions depending on who you talk to, but from a Guardsmen’s perspective, it’s about ‘train like you fight and fight like you train’. Our job is to bring our capabilities to the fight as part of the mission, not simply manpower for augmentation to the active component. Our capability has to be synchronized among other service components in order to accomplish the overarching mission task.”