TUCSON, Ariz. — Security experts from the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing located at the Tucson International Airport teamed up with 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern), Davis-Monthan Air Force Base Explosive Ordinance Disposal, AF Office of Special Investigations and local agencies to participate in a Subject Matter Expert Exchange with partner nation counterparts.
The five-day exchange focused on a sharing of ideas to increase capabilities specific to force protection and threat assessment.
“This is the second exchange of this kind we have hosted,” said U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Mark Milbourn, 162nd security forces manager. “Hopefully we will be able to make this an annual exchange and build an enduring relationship that will increase our capabilities and the capabilities of our partner nations,” said Milbourn.
The security experts from Chile, like AF security forces and local law enforcement, are responsible for ensuring the safety of property and personnel from hostile forces. Each are tasked to respond to security threats posed by transnational organized crime, terrorism, and natural disasters.
During the exchange, visitors attended presentations from D-M EOD, Pima County Sheriff’s Office and 162nd Security Forces. The visitors were also presented with threat assessment scenarios during a tour of the 162nd Wing.
“There have been complex security incidents in the U.S.,” said Capt. Gonzalo Febre from the Carabineros de Chile Special Operations Unit. “The most important thing about participating in this exchange is creating the relationships to be able to share information and learn how the U.S. handles security issues,” said Febre.
He and his team specialize in combating terrorism, conducting search and rescue efforts, protection dignitaries, drug interdiction and other incidents in Chile outside what the USAF would consider military force protection.
“This exchange presented an opportunity to help us focus on base security and force protection,” said Febre. “We will be able to take what we have learned and apply it when we return home,” he said.
In Chile every member of the air force was responsible for force protection prior to the establishment of a protection force five years ago. Now all members are vigilant and alert officials of threats, enabling the protection force members to focus on base protection.
“The defense force is relatively new, so we are developing tactics and procedures based on this exchange,” said Chilean air force Lt. Diego Espoz. “It is important for us to see how security forces protect the flight line and the base, so we can adapt practices to fit our needs,” said Espoz.
The 162nd Wing is committed to fostering long lasting relationships with partner nations and during the exchange with Chile played an integral part in the 12th AF mission to build partner nation capacity.