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Guam National Guard Trains with Armed Forces of Philippines

  • Published
  • By Mark Scott,
  • Guam National Guard

MACTAN, Philippines - The Guam National Guard and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, partners in the State Partnership Program, conducted a mass-casualty field training exercise June 6-10.

After four days of classroom learning, about 100 troops from the Philippine Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines participated in the exercise. “Victims” dressed in moulage, sirens blaring over loudspeakers, and smoke machines added realism to the exercise.

Sgt. 1st Class Fred Esteves of Guam Guard’s Medical Readiness Detachment was a member of the medical first responder exchange.

“This week’s lesson was to work on a medical response to a disaster, which may be chemical, biological, earthquake/natural, or explosions,” said Esteves. “We have to train for it all, and like everything we do, it comes with practice.”

Across the field from the medical first responder exercise, students of the Incident Command Course tracked events and generated reports. Senior Master Sgt. Mike Quitugua, instructor, said the concurrent training for first responders and incident command allows decision-makers to see a more complete picture of the disaster, ultimately saving lives.

Col. Sheila Compton-Rivo, Guam Guard chief of joint staff, congratulated the class during the graduation ceremony and thanked Armed Forces of the Philippines Maj. Gen. Joel Nacnac, deputy chief of staff for Reservist and Retiree Affairs OJ9, and Col. Rozelle Salvosa, chief of the Reserve Training Division, for their presence.

“Working with you has been rewarding and has helped me embrace the Filipino spirit of bayanihan, which means working together as a community,” said Compton-Rivo. “The SPP process of training together, learning from each other, and becoming stronger together builds respect, trust and friendship not only on the individual level but on the national and international level as well.”

Guam and the Armed Forces of the Philippines have been partners in the SPP program since 2000. The Department of Defense National Guard Bureau program has been successfully building relations for more than 30 years and now includes 92 partnerships with 106 nations around the globe.