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NEWS | March 29, 2022

Office of Special Investigations Builds Partnerships with Fijic

Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs

Special Agents from the Department of the Air Force, Office of Special Investigations, Region 6 (Pacific), Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, and the Headquarters OSI Behavioral Sciences Division, Quantico Marine Corps Station, Virginia, hosted a mental health and wellness seminar in Nadi, Fiji, March 10-11.

The event provided frontline police officers and supervisors with tools and techniques to more effectively manage the stress and trauma they may face or be exposed to as part of the dangerous and unpredictable nature of police work.

Specifically, the seminar explored increased stressors resulting from constraints brought on by the Coronavirus Disease pandemic. During the event, participants discussed how stress related to the law enforcement profession may manifest in an officer’s personal life.

To combat the widespread mental distress, OSI psychologists provided the Fijian officers strategies to afford needed attention in personal relationships, financial issues, and nutrition.

“This information exchange represents the United States’ continued, national-level commitment and attention to the Indo-Pacific Region and to expanding Pacific Air Forces’ interoperability with a key island nation” Lt. Gen. James Jacobson, Pacific Air Forces deputy commander, “We’re pleased to support our Fijian law enforcement partners, and to do so at the request of the Fijian government.”

In addition to mental health and wellness, the exchange provided information regarding best practices for investigating sexual assaults and other crimes.

“Let’s be real about the mental health challenge facing the law enforcement community,” said Col. Ben Hatch, Commander, OSI Region 6 (Pacific). “Officers worked long, difficult hours during the pandemic to respond to some of the bleakest aspects of society.”

The Fiji Police Commissioner, Brig. Gen. Sitiveni Qiliho, presided over the seminar. Additionally, Antone Greubel, acting U.S. Ambassador to Fiji, Special Agent Samuel McRae, Regional Security Officer, representatives from the U.S. Embassy, and 43 police officers from the Western and Southern Divisions of the Fiji Police all attended the event.

“Our mental health can be similar to our physical conditioning,” said Hatch. “We need to work at it to be ready for the demands of the job and this seminar provided some incredible resources on how best to prepare for the realities experienced in this honorable profession.”

The OSI seminar expanded on support provided through PACAF exercises and information exchanges completed across the Indo-Pacific Region. Civil-military assistance activities and interactions, including Medical Programs, various Subject Matter Expert Exchanges, and Civic and Engineering Assistance Programs enables opportunities to continue to build strong relationships with Fiji and other countries across the region.

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