Pacific Defender 16-1 strengthens multi-national security ties

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Arielle Vasquez
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs

Pacific Defender Security Forces International Subject Matter Expert Exchange was held here Feb. 1-5 to help build partnerships and promote cooperation across the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. The five-day event was co-hosted by members from the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center (AFIMSC), Headquarters Pacific Air Forces and the 736th Security Forces Squadron.

During Pacific Defender 16-1 attendees toured Andersen units including the 36th Contingency Response Group and the 736th SFS. The tour allowed them to observe programs, training areas, tactics and techniques utilized by security forces members.

“Being in the Pacific, we’re prone to natural disasters in the region, as history has shown us,” said Capt. Doug Dinkins, the AFIMSC chief of security forces operations and Pacific Defender program manager. "It is vital to have this program in place because when we need to provide humanitarian aid or disaster response in different countries, having a relationship already established with our counterparts is extremely vital for the mission.”

The event included 14 service members from various nations including Nepal, Mongolia, Philippines and Vietnam.

Dinkins said that the Pacific Defender exchange is not just about showing attendees our training methods, but it’s also about sharing ideas and training techniques as well.

In addition to briefings and tours, participants learned new approaches to combatives and weapons training.

“I’ve learned a lot,” said Lt. Col. Rabindra Bahadur Basnet, a Nepalese Army helicopter pilot. “I believe we have addressed our goals through this exchange. The beauty of it is working toward the same mission and learning from each other.”

During the Pacific Defender 16-1, attendees spent time at the PACAF Regional Training Center's Commando Warrior program which gave them a chance to see how the 36th CRG trains more than 1,500 Airmen before they deploy.

“We, in the Philippines, are very thankful to be included in the program,” said Lt. Col. George Tagle, the commanding officer of the Philippine 2nd Air Reserve Center. “I see how effective the equipment and the capabilities of the 36th CRG are. It is very practical. I always think about the future of our military and this program allows me to open my perspective even more.”

Throughout the exchange, participants were able to enjoy the tours and training on base as well as experience Guam's rich culture.

“The most valuable part is having participation from multiple countries,” Dinkins said. “Having a multi-lateral event like this not only gives them a chance to see how we utilize the capabilities that we have, but it allows them to talk amongst themselves to share information that they might not know. For us, it’s a big success because we’re helping to spread the thought process of what this program is designed to do.”