Indonesian air defense experts visit HIANG

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Stan Pak
  • 154th Wing Public Affairs
Indonesian air defense experts attended a four day Subject Matter Expert Exchange (SMEE) for the State Partnership Program with the Hawaii Air National Guard's 169th Air Defense Squadron here, Aug. 30 to Sep. 2.

The program is administered by the National Guard Bureau, guided by State Department foreign policy goals, and executed by the state adjutants general in support of combatant commander and U.S. Chief of Mission security cooperation objectives and Department of Defense policy goals.

"The State Partnership Program is about building partnerships with other countries...a National Guard program where each state is matched with individual countries." said Maj. Michael O'Donnell, 169th Air Defense Squadron, Mission Crew commander. "To build those partnerships what we do is select topics that are mutually beneficial where both countries can discuss and engage in." 
This is the second time a SMEE between the Indonesian air defense team and the 169th ADS has been conducted. The first time the exchange took place was in 2015 in Jakarta, Indonesia. This time however the Indonesians came to Hawaii.

"Last time we discussed air defense tactics and this time we were able to actually show them through a simulation how we use our tactics in a situation that requires activating fighters and needing to react to a target." said O'Donnell.

The exchange included briefs from both participants about varying air defense subjects ranging from tactics to training, and even equipment. 

"We discussed training of our air defense controllers, what the training syllabus is like and what they can expect once they become qualified and continue on to maintain their proficiency." O'Donnell said.

"We talked about integration of all the different radar feeds that we have in our location from Federal Aviation Administration and military and how the computer takes all that information and synthesizes it to create one tactical picture for us to operate off of."

On the last day of the exchange, Hawaii Air and Army National Guard members gathered to discuss future plans and details for a 2017 conference in Indonesia.

"This program is going to continue into 2017, we're expecting to do at least one more conference in Indonesia next year as well as hosting them again in Hawaii. It's a growing program that we're going to keep building on to continue the partnership between nations." O'Donnell said.

The conference concluded with an awards ceremony where both sides presented awards and thank you mementos to one another.  Lt. Col. Christopher Jarratt, 169th ADS commander presented on behalf of the HIANG and Col. Palito Sitorus, head of the Indonesian delegation presented on behalf of the Indonesians.