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NEWS | March 29, 2024

Puerto Rico Guard Partners with Sister Services in Joint Exercise

By Airman 1st Class Marrissa Rodriguez, 156th Wing

CEIBA, Puerto Rico - The 156th Tactical Advisory Squadron, Puerto Rico Air National Guard, participated in a joint training field exercise March 15.

The exercise at Roosevelt Roads included service members assigned to the 4th Marine Logistics Group, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve; Coast Guard Base San Juan, U.S. Coast Guard Reserve; Navy Reserve Center Puerto Rico, U.S. Navy Reserve; and 1st Mission Support Command, U.S. Army Reserve. 

The event allowed junior enlisted and noncommissioned officers to develop leadership skills, including survivability, adaptability and conflict response, during a simulated humanitarian crisis caused by an atmospheric event at Culebra, an island municipality of Puerto Rico.

"This training is a great opportunity for us to experience the more tactical side of a potential joint operation, whether it's a humanitarian response where civilians could need shelter, food, aid or medicine or a combat operation where there are known adversaries," said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Brian Broekemeier, the 156th Tactical Advisory Squadron commander.

Exercise participants were evaluated on their effectiveness using tactical skills in leadership, teamwork, night combat operations, search and rescue, and crisis communication to deliver aid from Ceiba to affected civilians in Culebra.

Air advisers assigned to the 156th TAS, PRANG, collaborated with other branch service members to employ skills required to work with allied nations. In the scenario, they made decisions while confronting heavy fire and managed casualties and tense encounters with civilians.

"Participating in this exercise in a joint environment tested our crisis and conflict capabilities, allowing us to work cohesively to overcome challenges and prepare our Airmen for future fights," said U.S. Air Force Capt. Jose Velez, the 156th TAS intelligence officer and event evaluator. 

For U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Aneesah Akbar-Uqdah, the commanding officer assigned to Detachment 1 Landing Support Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 45, 4th Marine Logistics Group, Marine Corps Reserve, the training strengthened service members' capabilities beyond their job specialties.

"In today's competitive operational environments, we can no longer afford to restrict the capabilities of reservists to the military occupational specialty, they were assigned; we must employ them to their fullest capability, which is a force multiplier," said Akbar-Uqdah.

By participating in the exercise's theoretical and practical application, service members were exposed to tactical, operational, and strategic elements of war gaming while accomplishing mission-essential tasks for each unit, ensuring camaraderie and collaboration among participating services.



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