BIZERTE, Tunisia – While training in Tunisia last month, the Wyoming National Guard’s 84th Civil Support Team witnessed their Tunisian counterparts spring to action to support civilian authorities.
The 84th CST traveled to Tunisia to conduct several weeks of training in support of the National Guard’s State Partnership Program. Wyoming has had a formal partnership with the African country of Tunisia since 2004.
While training alongside the 61st Engineer Regiment, Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Company, the 84th CST witnessed civil support between the Tunisian Ministry of Defense and the Tunisian Ministry of Health.
The 84th CST was training with their Tunisian counterparts when the Tunisian Ministry of Health delivered 28 cellophane-wrapped bricks marked “TNT/Dynamite.” The 84th CST watched the Tunisians correctly analyze and identify the substance as cocaine.
They removed approximately 32 kilograms of cocaine with an estimated street value of more than $1 million from distribution.
“While I am certain our Tunisian partners would’ve made the identification without us, it was great for us to observe and validate their capabilities. Our team learned from a real-world scenario that reinforced the domestic mission of the National Guard,” said Maj. Casey Henry, commander of the 84th CST.
Training between Wyoming and Tunisian forces aligns with the Wyoming National Guard’s goal of maintaining a strong partnership with Tunisia. The Wyoming National Guard will benefit from this training by identifying violent extremist organizations and their regional capabilities. Both parties build a trusting and productive relationship and share best practices.
“Working with our Tunisian partners was an outstanding opportunity for the 84th Civil Support Team. We learned from them and tried to leave them with a few of our best practices,” said Henry. “I’m impressed with their professionalism and look forward to future training opportunities with them.”
The partnership significantly benefits the stabilization of a legitimate military in northern Africa, where Tunisia has one of the few viable democracies.
“Our Tunisian partners are in a daily fight with enemies of a stable government and immediately put tactics, techniques and procedural changes into practice to save lives,” said Brig. Gen. David Pritchett, director of the Joint Staff for the Wyoming National Guard. Pritchett was in Tunisia observing the training.
The 84th CST’s mission is to support civil authorities in Wyoming as a domestic CBRN resource. Members have the skills and equipment to identify CBRN substances, assess current and projected threats, advise on response measures, and assist with procuring additional resources.