ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- The 412th Theater Engineer Command’s (TEC) Deployable Command Post (DCP) 1 prepares for an international mission unlike any other. DCP 1 Soldiers, partnered with United States Marines and Airmen from the 36th Medical Group, and other foreign servicemembers, assembled at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, 16-18 July, for pre-exercise tasks and operations.
“We will deploy to Timor-Leste and serve as the Army forces headquarters, providing command to our assigned forces during a combined exercise, Dalan ba Dame 2021 (DbD21), with the Forcas de Defesa de Timor-Leste (F-FDTL), our land component partners,” said Col. Rudy Santacroce, ARFOR/DCP 1 commander.
There is a particular significance to this mission, that makes proper preparation and organization so essential. In addition to overall mission success and effective training, there are other reasons why this exercise is pivotal.
“Our team is excited and well-prepared to meet and work with the F-FTDL,” said Santacroce. “This is the first time the U.S. Army has worked with our counterparts in Timor-Leste, and we hope this will turn into an enduring engagement with our partner nation.”
Many factors also came into play before the collective element could move from Guam to Timor-Leste. Several sections and leaders, had to combine efforts to make sure everyone was fully mission-capable prior to departure. One of those leaders was Lt. Col. Delubio Rezende, 412th TEC medical advisory officer and medical liaison.
“My function is to make sure we have the appropriate assets and equipment to conduct and co-ordinate care through echelons, working in tandem with the host nation medical, U.S. Army Pacific Command (USARPAC) and U.S. Embassy,” said Rezende. “Also, the preparations for the exercise included writing the exercise’s COVID mitigation and medical evacuation plans, and the coordination for medical services.
In conjunction with medical preparations, logistical needs also had to be considered. Not only did personnel travel have to be examined and determined, but also equipment and training apparatuses.
“My role for this mission was to transport all personnel and equipment from Guam to Dili,” said Capt. Rashone Smith, DCP logistics officer. “We came up against communication obstacles (signal) initially while organizing at air base, but we’re able to overcome them. I hope to continue moving all personnel and equipment fluidly while maintaining accountability of all assets.”
In the end, the assembled force made a successful transition from Guam to Timor-Leste. Now on site, the focus for the ARFOR leadership and their Soldiers will be to execute the mission.
“My goal for the Soldiers is to observe and understand how they have a momentous opportunity to represent the U.S. and armed forces during this exercise,” said Sgt. Maj. Voltaire Sanders, ARFOR senior enlisted leader. “Our hope also is to learn and become more knowledgeable of our partner country’s customs and traditions.”
“This has been a very exciting start to what I believe will be a great relationship between our nations,” added Sanders.
The bi-lateral exercise opening ceremony and Heritage Day will begin Monday, 26 July.