DEDEDO, Guam - One Sergeant, three Specialists, and a Senior Airman in a room with a few laptops might not look like much. But in the realms of Electronic and Cyber Warfare, small teams like this can make the difference.
On the Guam National Guard’s Fort Juan Muna, a team is doing exactly that. Sgt. Randy Ngirmekur, Spc. Ken Clark, Spc. Avery Tyquienco, Spc. Jeremy Munoz, and Senior Amn. Ryan Martinez, under the supervision of Capt. Plamin Rabino are remotely participating in Exercise Orient Shield - one of the largest annual exercises in the theater.
“For today’s scenario, there’s a mock invasion happening,” said Ngirmekur, a Signal Support Systems Specialist. “Once Spc. Tyquienco sees on his intel side that It’s an amphibious and airborne invasion; we provide Cyber and Electronic Warfare advice directly to the Japanese Ground Self Defense Forces on how they can help deter it.”
The team is divided into sections, with the Electronic Warfare section headed by Ngirmekur and the Cyber section led by Munoz. Both sections have regular online meetings with their JGSDF counterparts, acting as advisers with the 40th Infantry Division.
“We can look at their local infrastructure and offer advice on how to use it to our advantage,” said Munoz. “Sgt. Ngirmekur’s team looks at radar jamming and power grids, for example, and the Cyber side looks at things like using local networks against the enemy.”
This is the first time the Guam National Guard has participated in Exercise Orient Shield, which began in 1985. The exercise aims to refine bilateral interoperability between the Japanese Ground Self Defense Forces and the U.S. Army while demonstrating the U.S. resolve to support the security interests of friends and allies in the region.
“We’ve only been doing this for a few days, but It’s helping me to see things on a larger scale, said Munoz. “We’re also learning more about leadership and making decisions, and I’ve also learned a lot about Japan. I think it’s important that we have a good relationship with our allies like this.”