An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | Feb. 4, 2022

Pacific Defender 2022

By Airman 1st Class Breanna Gossett 36th Wing Public Affairs

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- Pacific Defender is a bilateral or trilateral training event depending on how many countries are able to participate. This event gives security forces members from participating countries the opportunity to exchange information and tactics and provides them with an arena to train in.

“Working with our allies such as the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) allows us to keep a free and open Indo-Pacific,” said Senior Master Sgt. Marcelino Ruiz, operations superintendent assigned to the 736 SFS. “It gives us the opportunity to build interpersonal relationships which assists us in establishing the security and stability throughout the region.”

The focus of the training this year was on mounted convoyed operations, dismounted squad movements, jungle survival, urban operations, close quarter battle, weapons firing, fly away security and crowd control techniques. The military working dog (MWD) teams focused on other objectives specific to their dogs through the Commando Warrior K-9 program, such as mass odor detection, scouting, tracking, building searches, water confidence and austere veterinary tactical combat casualty care training.

The Commando Warrior K-9 program is the only MWD program in the Pacific Air Forces that offers valuable training for dog teams getting ready to head overseas for deployment.

Tech. Sgt. Casey Wheatley, noncommissioned officer in charge of military dog operations assigned to the 736 SFS, has been a part of the program for over two years and has been managing the program for a year with a goal to ensure that the K-9 program is always advancing and never stagnant when it comes to training.

“We travel a lot to assist other countries’ dog programs, developing lesson plans, powerpoints, basic instruction methods, basic obedience, detection capabilities, kennel structure and administrative documenting and everything in between,” said Wheatley.

Opportunities to travel and assist other countries helps build relationships and partnerships all over the world and plays a big part in Wheatley’s role in Pacific Defender 22-1, which is to build strong relationships with our partner nations and to provide good training capabilities to continue advancing the MWDs.

“Here at Commando Warrior, we have established stressful veterinary TCCC scenarios,” said Wheatley. “Working closely with our veterinarians on Andersen Air Force Base, we ensure established training plans and criteria are being met.”

A new training tactic provided for the MWD handlers this year is austere veterinary training. This training plays a vital role when it comes to deployed environments and it’s very important that handlers understand TCCC for MWDs under fire in stressful situations as it will keep their dog alive and ensure continuous use of the dog.

RAAF provides a valuable asset to Pacific Defender as they have unique capabilities that we do not possess such as tracking, explosive detection and specialized searching dogs.

The explosive detection dogs can search on and off leash and can search a large area very quickly, using a similar search pattern we use, just at a greater scale.

“The RAAF is always a pleasure to work with as they always come with one hundred percent motivation and knowledge to pass on to us,” said Wheatley. “Continuously building our relationship with the RAAF plays a crucial role in achieving my goals for this program.”

For future Pacific Defender exercises, Wheatley is pushing to get other countries involved in the Commando Warrior K-9 program to help build relationships across the world and keep the exchange of training techniques flowing.

CONNECT WITH USINDOPACOM
Facebook

Like Us
X
363,329
Follow Us

ENGAGE & CONNECT MORE WITH PACOM

                                                 

IN THE USINDOPACOM NEWS
USINDOPACOM Commander Presents Legion of Merit to New Zealand Chief of Defense Force
Air Marshal Kevin R. Short, New Zealand Defense Force Chief of Defence Force, receives the Legion of Merit pinned by Adm. John C. Aquilino, Commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, in Wellington, New Zealand, on April 6, 2024. The Legion of Merit is the highest accolade that the U.S. can bestow upon a foreign leader; it is reserved for individuals who have shown exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services. USINDOPACOM is committed to enhancing stability in the Indo-Pacific region by promoting security cooperation, encouraging peaceful development, responding to contingencies, deterring aggression and, when necessary, fighting to win. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shannon M. Smith)
April 6, 2024 - WELLINGTON, New Zealand - Adm. John C. Aquilino, Commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, presented Air Marshal Kevin R. Short, New Zealand Defense Force Chief of Defence Force, with the Legion of Merit, Degree of Commander,...

MV-22s Return to Flight Status
PHILIPPINE SEA (April 2, 2024) An MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 262, prepares to land on the flight deck of the forward-deployed amphibious assault carrier USS America (LHA 6), while conducting routine operations in the Philippine Sea, April 2. America, lead ship of the America Amphibious Ready Group, is operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations. U.S. 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with allies and partners in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region.  (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Cole Pursley)
April 5, 2024 - The 1st Marine Aircraft Wing returned its MV-22s to flight status on March 14, as the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) deemed the aircraft safe to fly based on a meticulous and data-driven approach that prioritized flight...

Wisconsin Guard seizes opportunity to grow relationship with Papua New Guinea
Maj. Gen. Paul Knapp, Wisconsin’s adjutant general, presents Commodore Philip Polewara, acting defence chief of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force, with a framed print March 18 of an interaction between Soldiers of the 32nd Division and a Papua New Guinean sketching a diagram of Japanese military positions from Nov. 15, 1942 during the campaign to drive the Japanese army out of Buna. The 32nd Division was largely composed of Wisconsin National Guard Soldiers when World War II began. The photo underscores how far back Wisconsin’s history goes with Papua New Guinea. Forty Wisconsin National Guard Airmen and Soldiers spent the week of March 17-22 in Papua New Guinea collaborating with and training alongside the Papua New Guinea Defence Force as part of the State Partnership Program. This current exchange includes meetings between leadership along with training in instruction, medical, security forces, and collaboration with senior non-commissioned officers. The Wisconsin National Guard and Papua New Guinea began their partnership in 2020 and have since had several key leader engagements and site visits to strengthen that relationship. Wisconsin National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Kati Volkman
April 5, 2024 - Forty Wisconsin National Guard Airmen and Soldiers spent the week of March 17-22 collaborating with, and training alongside, members of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force in support of the State Partnership Program...

U.S. lndo-Pacific Command representatives meet with Chinese counterparts at Military Maritime Consultative Agreement working group
Military representatives from U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, U.S. Pacific Fleet, and U.S. Pacific Air Forces met with People's Republic of China People's Liberation Army representatives for the Military Maritime Consultative Agreement Working Group in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 3-4, 2024. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class  Randi Brown)
April 5, 2024 - Military representatives from U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, U.S. Pacific Fleet, and U.S. Pacific Air Forces met with People's Republic of China People's Liberation Army representatives for the Military Maritime Consultative...

B-52 Bombers return home after BTF deployment to Diego Garcia
A B-52 Stratofortress assigned to the 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, takes off to return home from a Bomber Task Force deployment at Navy Support Facility, Diego Garcia, April 3, 2024. The U.S. routinely and visibly demonstrates commitment to our Allies and partners through the global employment of our military forces.(U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Staci Kasischke)
April 4, 2024 - A Bomber Task Force deployment of two U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortresses, Airmen and support equipment from the 2nd Bomb Wing, Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, concluded at Naval Support Facility Diego Garcia, April 3...