Operatives of Guam National Guard recently trained a total of 80 officers, enlisted personnel, reservists, and civilian employees from various units under Western Command (WESCOM) in Tactical Combat Casualty Care and Incident Command System at the Rizal Reef Hall of WESCOM.
The five-day training was conducted under the State Partnership Program between the Philippines and the United States’ National Guard Bureau. The primary objective of the program is to enhance collaboration efforts between the two allied countries.
During the training, participants had the opportunity to exchange ideas and concepts, thereby allowing them to strengthen their knowledge and skills. This was particularly beneficial for reservists, who act as force multipliers for the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
According to Capt. Duane Sablan, the lead coordinator of the SPP and a member of the US Army Guam National Guard, the training also offered participants a chance to experience firsthand actual operations in the field and at the command post. The simulation exercises provided the participants with the opportunity to react to different emergency situations.
“We had a squad training exercise out in the field where we simulated actual battlefield event, where they were under heavy fire and had to apply what they learned to real life scenarios,” Sablan said.
“With ICS, what they did was similar to a practical exercise in the classroom. They were given a scenario with some kind of an emergency or disaster so they have to be able to articulate how they will setup an IC and how to respond,” he added.
Sablan also mentioned that while they have been conducting training since 2001, it was the first time they visited different unified command units of the AFP to conduct more training.
He added that the majority of the early-stage trainings under the SPP were held at the AFP General Headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo and other AFP reservist centers in the National Capital Region.
“Because Guam is under PACOM (Pacific Command region, our partner is the Philippines and] We have been state partners since 2001 and we share this partnership with Hawaii, and many of the things that we train on is with HADR, we do some subject matter expert exchanges and leadership developments together,” Sablan explained.
“We conduct a whole variety of trainings, historically, because Guam and Philippines are kind of in the typhoon alley, HADR has been a very big exchange that we had. But we do other trainings such as NCO to NCO development, officer development, staff talks, we also bring ROTC cadets to Guam to do cultural understanding and learning program,” he added.
He further stated that the successful conduct of the training in WESCOM is also a strong manifestation of the committed of the US through the SPP in the pacific region, noting the cultural ties between Guam and the Philippines.
“We will be coming back to the different unified commands in the succeeding years to come. In Guam, you know a lot of our soldiers are of Filipino descent so we use this training with the AFP to build our partnerships,” he said.
Meanwhile, in his message delivered by Col. Rolando Saragoza during the graduation ceremony on Sunday, AFP Deputy Chief of Staff for Reservist and Retiree Affairs (OJ9) Maj. Gen. Alejandro Nacnac said the training also paved way for the advancement of the enduring partnership between the two countries through their armed forces in the conduct of the ICS and TCCC expertise exchange.
“This is another manifestation of our engagement geared towards materialization of the AFP’s development aspirations particularly in having a mission capable reserve force… to enable them to contribute more significantly in furtherance of our mutual defense goals and strategic ends,” Nacnac said.
Nacnac also thanked the Guam National Guard as he extended appreciation to their “commitment and desire to help us improve the reserve force as a moving factor for world class armed forces.
“Much has been accomplished and more have to be done in the coming engagements. I believe that we, at the current momentum, are on the right track to realizing our mutual defense. Rest assured that we will persistently move forward towards achieving the missions and objectives of this lasting partnership particularly in enhancing our AF reserve forces in addressing different degrees and levels of emergency situations and challenges,” he stated.
Col. Rozelle Salvosa, OJ9 Reservist Training Division chief on the other hand also expressed gratitude to the oarticipants of the training, saying that the new knowledge and skills they acquired will be a big help in tbeir careers and perfirmance of their duties and missions.
“And this is one of the few things that we will be bringing and it will grow,” Salvosa said.
All the trainings, skills and knowledge that we have imparted, please share them if you have the time. You will be trained more in the HADR and territorial defense operations,” she added.