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OSI strengthens ties with regional counterparts

A photo of Airman and Tinian government officials working together

Office of Special Investigations agents and Tinian government officials pose for photo during a meet and greet on Tinian April 7, 2021. OSI Agents traveled throughout the Commonwealth Northern Mariana Islands to build relationships with law enforcement and security counterparts. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo.)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam --

Building relationships and developing partners is key to any mission.

Whether its coordinating airspace with allied nations downrange, or collaborating with local law enforcement in canine training, strengthening and supporting relationships is an important part of Airpower.

Members of the Office of Special Investigations worked to build these relations with Guam’s neighbors, throughout the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, by traveling to and meeting face-to-face with host nation law enforcement and security counterparts in April.

“The goal of this trip was to reestablish contact with our law enforcement and security counterparts, and continue to build these relationships,” said Special Agent Andrew Cox, assigned to OSI Guam. “OSI has a long history of partnering with local, state, and federal counterparts by complementing one another's strengths, working joint investigations, and conducting subject matter expert exchanges to provide increased security and law enforcement effectiveness.”

During the two-week mission, OSI-Guam agents met with members of the Department of Public Safety, Customs, Port Authorities and various federal agencies from Saipan, Tinian, and Rota.

“We hoped to learn how OSI can help build capacity and interoperability within the Marianas Islands and reestablish contact with individuals we have met in the past,” said Cox. “We want to learn what issues or concerns law enforcement have and lay the groundwork for future subject matter expert exchanges.”

While this trip focused on OSI’s line of effort to ‘Strengthen partner engagement’ it also fell in line with another of their key efforts of ‘Hone mission focus and readiness.’

OSI is tasked with providing commanders current and accurate information about areas where service members may travel to.  Special Agent Adrienn Ennis, assigned to OSI Detachment 602, explained face-to-face engagement with regional partners is vital to creating and maintaining those critical lines of communication.

 “This particular trip was highly anticipated, given COVID restrictions that prevented us from meeting face-to-face with some of our most important regional allies and law enforcement partners,” said Maj. Michael Josephson, OSI Detachment 602 commander. "We look forward to future opportunities to strengthen existing relationships as well as establish new ones."

Enniss agrees that the development and establishment of these bonds have a multitude of benefits.

“We strive to consistently engage with host nation partners to promote information sharing, interoperability, and highlight any threats to our Airmen while helping local police counter transnational crime in the Pacific,” Ennis said.

“This trip should set the stage for many more engagements to come!” Ennis said. “In the past, OSI has focused primarily on exercise support to force protection.  Developing these relationships outside of exercise planning strengthens regional security and information sharing, capacity building, and interoperability throughout islands in the Pacific.”