DAGRE supports joint, combined exchange training in the Philippines

  • Published
  • By By Capt. Jessica Tait, 353rd Special Operations Group Public Affairs
  • 353rd Special Operations Group
Deployed Aircraft Ground Response Element team members assigned to the 353rd Special Operations Group conducted bilateral exchanges with the Philippine Air Force (PAF) at Clark Air Base and Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base during Teak Piston 2016 from Sept. 15-30.

“Teak Piston was a huge milestone for the PAF, as well as for the 353rd SOSS/A7,” said Capt. Caesar Baldemor, Deployed Aircraft Ground Response Element flight commander. “This was the first joint, combined exchange training (JCET) that encompassed the security forces elements from both the SOG and the PAF. Usually Teak Piston only has flying squadrons and Special Tactics interacting.”

DAGRE personnel spent three months preparing a curriculum centered on air base defense for the 710th Special Operations Wing and the 5611th Security Forces. A total of 71 PAF students received training.

“We took the time to listen to our PAF counterparts and adapt our training to meet their needs,” said Baldemor. “Over the two week period, we covered topics such as air base defense theory, command and control structure, entry control point operations, military working dog applications, vehicle operations, law enforcement operations, active shooter response procedures, anti-terrorism, small unit tactics and close quarters battle.”

At the culmination of the JCET, the students were tested on skills learned in the classroom and leadership in the field.

“The eldest student in our class was a 24-year-old and an E-3,” said Baldemor. “These Airmen don’t get any leadership training until E-5. We put them on the spot, gave them an objective and let them plan and execute the mission. They performed very well and learned quickly despite the language barrier.”

As the PAF continues to develop a standardized technical school for security forces Airmen, JCETs like Teak Piston will serve as the foundation for the future.

One student stated that this was an opportunity of a lifetime and that they wouldn’t get to do something like this ever again in their career.

“I’ve been so impressed with the students’ ability to quickly learn and implement the curriculum into action,” expressed Baldemor. “We may have the opportunity to build a school in time as we continue to engage with the PAF. I look forward to future exchanges and trainings.”