by Master Sgt. Paula Macomber
152nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
8/21/2014 - RENO, Nev. -- In an
effort to build global relationships, the Nevada National Guard's State
Partnership Program with the Kingdom of Tonga brought members of the
Tongan military to the 152nd Airlift Wing here Aug. 20.
The 152nd AW opened thier doors to the Kingdom of Tonga's military
leaders to include Brig. Gen. 'Uta'atu, Lt. Col. Lord Ve'ehala, and
Senior Warrant Officer Kava.
'Uta'atu, Lord Ve'ehala and Kava received a capabilities brief by several members of the 152nd AW and were given a base tour.
The tour began with a brief look at a Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft,
to include the flight deck; a tour of the 152nd Maintenance Squadron
hangar and an airplane undergoing an isochronal inspection; a visit to
the 152nd Civil Engineer Squadron's "Leed Silver" certified firehouse.
The tour group then went on a walking tour of some Nevada Counterdrug
equipment and a tent containing equipment from the Nevada Chemical,
Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and high-yield Explosives Enhanced
Response Force Package unit.
The Counterdrug and CERFP stops were followed by a look at the 152nd
Logistics Readiness Squadron's vehicle maintenance building. The tour
concluded at the 152nd Security Forces Squadron's Modular Containerized
Small Arms Training Set, a state-of-the-art indoor shooting range.
"Can we take this back to Tonga?" was 'Uta'atu's question after he was
able to shoot an M-9 pistol with simulated rounds in the MCSATS
After the tour, 'Uta'atu, Lord Ve'ehala and Kava received tokens of
appreciation, given by Air Force Col. Karl Stark, 152nd AW commander.
"Today's visit by the Tongan delegation symbolized the first step in a
prosperous relationship by showcasing some of the unique capabilities
that the 152nd Airlift Wing has to offer as well as discussing how those
capabilities could possibly enhance future engagements," Stark said.
"Today's visit left me with a pure sense of excitement and curiosity of
what is in the realm of possibility for both parties to garner from our
The Tongan delegates have been in the Reno area since Aug.16 touring
various Nevada National Guard facilities and civilian businesses. They
will travel on Aug. 21 to Chicago, Illinois, to attend the National
Guard Association of the United States conference and trade show and
meet with members of the National Guard Bureau before they head back to
the Kingdom of Tonga on Aug. 26.
Through the SPP, the National Guard conducts military-to-military
engagements in support of defense security goals but also leverages
whole-of-society relationships and capabilities to facilitate broader
interagency and corollary engagements spanning military, government,
economic and social spheres.