DVIDS – News – Maine Air National Guard Partners with Montenegro for Communications Familiarization Event
The Maine Air National Guard hosted members of the Montenegrin Army during a communications familiarization event June 1-5, 2022. The 243rd Engineering Installations Squadron and 265th Combat Communications Squadron provided activities ranging from climbing the antenna tower to operating complex communication systems.
“The Maine National Guard has had a growing relationship with Montenegro for more than 15 years,” said 265th CBCS Operations Officer Second Lieutenant Omar Gonzaga. “These opportunities not only allow us to showcase state-of-the-art equipment, but also provide our guests with best practice examples of how to plan and implement various resources. They were also able to provide us with valuable information it is a two-way flow of information.”
The Balkan country of Montenegro, located on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, declared its independence on June 3, 2006. On November 20, 2006, Montenegro signed a bilateral business agreement with the United States Department of Defense and established a partnership with the State of Maine through the National Guard State Partnership Program.
Four English-speaking officers from the Montenegrin Army have arrived for their first day at the South Portland Air National Guard Station. They participated in a tour and received an overview of the recent 265th CCNR Flexible Communications Package exercise. They briefed on the safety of climbing the 243rd SIS Tower before heading to SPANGS Tower for the opportunity to climb the 150ft structure.
“Climbing the tower was definitely something they would come back to and tell their units about,” said 2nd Lieutenant Justin Smith, cyberspace engineer for the 243rd IST. “Working on towers is part of what some airmen do here so that we can deploy anywhere in the world. The Montenegrin army has not fully developed these capabilities, which makes it a unique experience.”
The next two days provided the Montenegrins with the opportunity to participate in a comprehensive communications exercise with members of the 243rd EIS and 265th CBCS. The exercise included setting up and operating the assets of both units.
Saturday, the final day of the event, was an opportunity for visitors to see the National Guard in action. It was the weekend of exercises for both units. About 300 airmen arrived at SPANGS early in the morning and began working on a formation similar to what the Montenegrins had observed on a smaller scale during the week. They spent the day observing the operations of the 243rd IST and the event concluded with a barbecue with the two units. On Sunday, they left to return to Montenegro, perhaps bringing with them a new perspective on the conduct of communication operations within the Montenegrin army.
“The National Guard State Partnership Program provides states with an incredible opportunity to help build strong bilateral defense relationships,” said Maj. Gen. Douglas Farnham, Maine’s adjutant general. “Just look at the National Guard’s relationship in Europe. The value of these close partnerships, built over the years, certainly serves the region well in countering Russian aggression.”
The SPP began in 1993 to support defense strategy objectives using military-to-military engagements. All states participate in the program, encompassing 93 partner nations. Examples of the focus of the SPP are disaster and emergency response, leadership and staff development, engineering activities, and communications security – an area in which SPANGS units specialize.
“Maine participates in approximately 25 events each year – in Maine, Montenegro and around the world – supporting the national defense strategy,” Farnham said. “Our partnership creates strong, meaningful relationships that help develop all of our service members.”
|Date posted:||06.12.2022 12:39|
|Location:||SOUTH PORTLAND, ME, USA|
This work, Maine Air National Guard partners with Montenegro on communications familiarization eventby Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Rooseveltidentified by DVDmust follow the restrictions listed at https://www.dvidshub.net/about/copyright.