PRANG partners with sister services in Joint Training Exercise

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Marrissa Rodriguez
  • 156th Wing

U.S. Airmen assigned to the 156th Tactical Advisory Squadron, Puerto Rico Air National Guard, participated in a joint training field exercise with service members assigned to the 4th Marine Logistics Group, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve; Coast Guard Base San Juan, U.S. Coast Guard Reserve; Navy Reserve Center Puerto Rico, U.S. Navy Reserve; and 1st Mission Support Command, U.S. Army Reserve, at Roosevelt Roads, Ceiba, Puerto Rico, March 15, 2024. 

The event allowed junior enlisted and non-commissioned officers to develop leadership skills, including survivability, adaptability, and conflict response, during a simulated humanitarian crisis caused by an atmospheric event at Culebra, an island municipality of Puerto Rico.

"This training is a great opportunity for us to experience the more tactical side of a potential joint operation, whether it's a humanitarian response where civilians could need shelter, food, aid, or medicine or a combat operation where there are known adversaries," said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Brian Broekemeier, the 156th Tactical Advisory Squadron commander.

Service members who participated in the exercise were evaluated on their effectiveness in utilizing tactical skills in leadership, teamwork, night combat operations, search and rescue, and crisis communication to accomplish the mission of delivering aid from the municipality of Ceiba to affected civilians in Culebra. 

These high-stress and hostile mock scenarios saw air advisors assigned to the 156th TAS, PRANG, collaborate with other branch service members to employ skill sets required for working with allied nations in a real-world setting, which included performing quick decision-making while confronting heavy fire, managing casualties and tense encounters with civilians.

"As air advisors we are trained to execute five core functions including assess, train, advise, assist and equip; and they are employed during building capacity, including crisis and conflict with partner nations," said U.S. Air Force Capt. Jose Velez, the 156th TAS intelligence officer and event evaluator. "Participating in this exercise in a joint environment tested our crisis and conflict capabilities, allowing us to work cohesively to overcome challenges and prepare our Airmen for future fights."

For U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Aneesah Akbar-Uqdah, the commanding officer assigned to Det. 1 Landing Support Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 45, 4th Marine Logistics Group, Marine Corps Reserve, the training provided an opportunity to strengthen service members' capabilities beyond their job specialty.

"In today's competitive operational environments, we can no longer afford to restrict the capabilities of reservists to the military occupational specialty, they were assigned; we must employ them to their fullest capability, which is a force multiplier," said Akbar-Uqdah. 

By participating in the exercise's theoretical and practical application, service members were exposed to tactical, operational, and strategic elements of war gaming while accomplishing mission-essential tasks for each unit, ensuring camaraderie and collaboration among participating services.