ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- Air advisors from the 36th Contingency Response Support Squadron, the only air advising squadron aligned to the Indo-Pacific, led a Mobile Training Team in the Philippines, Sept. 5-15, 2022, as part of the U.S. building partnership capacity initiative.
Fourteen Airmen from the 36th Wing at Andersen AFB, 374th Airlift Wing at Yokota Air Base, Japan, and the 18th Wing at Kadena Air Base, Japan, joined forces to provide 500 hours of instruction on the utilization, maintenance, and safety protocols of equipment that was brought over to the Philippines.
The air advisors were spilt into two teams and instructed members of the Philippine Air Force from Basa Air Base and Mactan–Benito Ebuen Air Base on air transportation, vehicle maintenance, fuels management, aircraft weaponry, and aerospace ground equipment during the MTT. Air advisors were focused on training members of the Philippine Air Force with future bilateral and multilateral exercises and exchanges in mind.
"This was the first time the 36 CRSS sent two teams to different locations to train multiple units,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Michelle Paras, 36th Contingency Response Group Executive Officer and MTT mission commander. “By the end of the training, both teams achieved greater interoperability with one of our country's longtime allies.”
Following the MTT, the Philippine Air Force is now capable of quickly on and off-loading aircraft such as the C-130 with a 25,000-pound capacity Halvorsen loader. This machine carries up to four pallets at a time, allowing the aerial port to load large, multiple pallet position equipment, enabling a faster load time for members.
“This training would not have been possible without a team Pacific Air Forces effort. Of the four regionally aligned air advising units, the 36th Contingency Response Support Squadron is the smallest with only twenty Air Advisors,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Erin Moubry, 36 CRSS director of operations. “The team provided the Philippine Air Force the same quality of training and equipment that members of the U.S. Air Force receive, enhancing interoperability and cooperation between the two forces.”
Next year, air advisors from the 36 CRSS hope to return to Basa Air Base and Mactan–Benito Ebuen Air Base for the 38th iteration of the Philippine-led Balikatan exercise. Balikatan, means "shoulder to shoulder" in Filipino, and the exercise highlights the deep-rooted partnership between both countries.
“From the whole team, we enjoyed working with the Philippine Air Force and look forward to meeting again,” said Paras.