by Senior Airman Orlando Corpuz
154th Wing Public Affairs
9/24/2015 - JAKARTA, Indonesia -- Air
defense experts from the Hawaii Air National Guard completed a three
day Subject Matter Expert Exchange near Halim International Airport here
Sept. 15-17, with counterparts from Indonesia,
This was the first time a SMEE involving air defense had been conducted
between the HIANG and Kohanudnas, the component of the Indonesian armed
forces responsible for air defense.
"The team's immediate goal was to lay the foundation for a productive
relationship between the Hawaii Air National Guard and the Kohanudnas."
said Maj. Michael O'Donnell, 169th Air Defense Squadron Mission Crew
commander. "Long term, we would like to have an enduring partnership
with the Kohanudnas that promotes stability in the region."
The exchanges were part of the National Guard's State Partnership
Program. The program matches a state's National Guard with a partner
country in order to build capacity and reinforce security cooperation.
Program partners engage in a wide range of security cooperation
activities such as homeland defense, disaster response, and interagency
"The State Partnership Program is a Department of Defense joint security
cooperation program administered by the National Guard." said Maj.
Robert Galino, Theater Command and Control Officer with the 109th Air
Operations Group. "It supports the combatant commander's security
cooperation objectives and Ambassador's intergrated country strategies."
A team of seven HIANG personnel from the 169th ADS and 109th AOG engaged
with Kohanudnas on topics ranging from air battle management, target
identification, target tracking, and data transmission.
"It's very important to share experiences with air defense and to learn
and collaborate with each other as we share in the common goal of peace
and security." said Galino.
"We hope to continue our relationship with Indonesia...to not just
include the tactical level, but operational and maybe strategic."
The partnership with Indonesia was just one example of the HIANG's
execution of the SPP mission and reflects the National Guard's growing
international affairs mission. In August, the HIANG hosted air defense
officials from the Philippine Air Force for bi-lateral learning and
discussions. The HIANG teams up with the Guam National Guard to execute
the SPP mission with the Philippines.
Currently, the National Guard maintains SPP relations with 76 nations around the world.
"The purpose of the State Partnership Program is to build mutually
beneficial military relationships with foreign nations. This is
accomplished by face to face interactions that foster professional and
personal contacts." said O'Donnell.