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Pacific Defender builds multi-national security ties

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Cierra Presentado
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
Team Andersen hosted a Security Forces Pacific Defender international subject-matter expert exchange (SMEE) May 19-23 to help build partnerships across the Pacific Region and promote interoperability.

The four-day event included service members from Mongolia, Tonga, Thailand and Australia.

The event was co-hosted by senior security forces members from headquarters Pacific Air Force and intended to build strong personal relationships and cooperation between the U.S. and allies in the Asia-Pacific region. During the event, members toured the 36th Contingency Response Group and the 736th Security Forces Squadron where key programs on training, tactics and techniques were demonstrated for the attendees by security forces members.

"During the (exchange) our Defenders were able to share knowledge on various programs via briefings and training they received," said Maj. Dennis Trutwin, 736th SFS commander.

In addition to briefings and tours, attendees received combatives training as well as weapons training.

"The tactical training we received was a very good learning experience for us," said Mongolian Armed Forces 1st Lt. Khash-Erdene Erdensaikhan, Air and Air Defense Command General Staff of Mongolian Armed Forces flight inspector. "I will definitely be taking the information I learned back to my country and use it to improve my military."

His Majesty's Armed Forces of Tonga Maj. Soane Aholelei, Officer Commanding Military Training School, said that Pacific Defender helped him realize that his background in infantry training has strong similarities to the way U.S. Airmen conduct tactical training.

"I was able to gather even more knowledge from the training to add on to what I already know, such as the use of tactics, techniques and procedures," he said. "Being able to work side-by-side with our allies and exchange information was an awesome experience."

During the SMEE, attendees spent the day at the PACAF Regional Training Center's Commando Warrior program, which gave the individuals a chance to see how the 36th CRG annually trains more than 1,500 Airmen prior to deployments.

"Being able to observe the training that goes on at Commando Warrior and seeing all the hard work that goes on was interesting," said Royal Thai Air Force Squadron Leader Ronarong Ariya, security forces officer. "Our allies have different ways of training, but we all come together to get the mission done in the end."

Throughout the exchange, the attendees were able to enjoy some Andersen and Guam-specific experiences, taking in Guam culture and observing Andersen security force operations.

"I enjoyed the SMEE, I have learned much knowledge," Aholelei said. "Being able to talk with our allies and update each other with current standard operating procedures will prove helpful during any crisis we may face together. We will maintain our tactical edge assisting the U.S. in the fight against terrorism and try to help out as much as we can."

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