Guam-based 36 CRG sends military training team to Palau


U.S. Air Force members from the 36th Contingency Response Squadron enter Palau National Airport after arriving on island for a key leader engagement, June 23, 2021. (U.S. AIR FORCE/SENIOR AIRMAN AUBREE OWENS)

The 36th Contingency Response Group assigned to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam deployed a Mobile Training Team contingent to the Republic of Palau last June 10, 2021.

While there, subject matter experts are teaching members from the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Public Infrastructure and Institution in Palau how to properly utilize equipment they received from the Department of Defense.

“The Mobile Training Team is a dynamic composition of air advisors, instructors from various Air Force specialties, and a security cooperation’s officer,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Darryl Brown, 36th Contingency Response Support Squadron training and readiness air adviser section lead. “As air [advisers], our overarching mission is building partnership capacity of our foreign allies.”

This mission, led by the 36th CRSS, was the first training opportunity using 333 Funding Authority equipment that has occurred in the Pacific Air Forces. The use of 333 funded equipment allows the Secretary of Defense to provide equipment, services, and training to national security forces of one or more foreign countries for the purpose of building capacity to counter illicit drug trafficking, increasing military intelligence and strengthen maritime and border security.

“The equipment they’ve received is not random, each asset has a specific function for the security of the island and missions conducted there,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Craig Gulledge, 36th CRSS director of operations. “So the next time we go to Palau for an exercise, we will be able to integrate with the personnel who were trained through this MTT in order to better execute our mission.”

Along with other Pacific Islands, Palau was made a part of the United States-governed Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands in 1947. The United States and Palau collaborate on a broad range of issues, including strengthening regional security, promoting sustainable development, addressing climate change, protecting fisheries and the environment.

On June 23, the commander of the 36th CRG, Col. R Schmidt, traveled to Palau with a small team to conduct a key leader engagement with the ambassador, national security office coordinator, two governors, and go on a walkthrough of some of the training sites that his members were at.

“The primary objective of the visit was to build upon our already established partnerships with the government of Palau,” said Schmidt. “The Republic of Palau and Pacific Islands are an essential part of a free and open Indo-Pacific region, and we are committed to Pacific Islands’ security and prosperity.”

AUBREE OWENS, 36th Wing Public Affairs

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