Team Andersen strengthens ties with SMEE

by Staff Sgt. Robert Hicks, 36th Wing Public Affairs
Andersen Air Force Base

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam  -- Team Andersen hosted Pacific Defender 14-4, a security forces subject-matter expert exchange Aug. 4-8 conducted as part of the U.S. Pacific Command's Theater Security Cooperation Program.

The exchange included military and police representatives from Singapore, Vanuatu, Bangladesh and the Maldives.

Pacific Defender is a multilateral event co-hosted by senior security forces members from Headquarters Pacific Air Forces. It is intended to enhance strong personal relationships and cooperation with selected Asia-Pacific nations. Team Andersen has hosted three events this year and one more is scheduled before 2015.

"We want to build these relationships and learn to interact with one another in case of an event such as a humanitarian assistance or disaster relief operation," said Senior Master Sgt. Rick Schlachter, 736th Security Forces Squadron manager. "We want to make sure it's not the first time we've ever met or worked together and discussed security operations."

During the event, the attendees toured 36th Contingency Response Group facilities and the 736th Security Forces Squadron. They observed key programs, training, tactics and techniques used by security forces members in each of these units.

"Since this initiative started, the relationship between the countries has grown," Schlachter said. "The bases of security for each of these countries come from different histories and tradition and, as we continue to do Pacific Defender, we're learning how to operate together and modify security processes and procedures to allow us to be more interoperable with each other."

Airmen from the 736th SFS acknowledged the SMEE was a great idea after they worked with The Republic of Singapore Air Force during Operation Damayan where they helped provide relief in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan that devastated portion of the Philippines in 2013.

"I'm really excited and happy to be a part of this program," Schlachter, said. "There is a lot of knowledge and value involved with Pacific Defender. We get the opportunity to interact and cooperate with one another about security practices and how we are able to mutually support each other."

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