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News from the Oklahoma National Guard

NEWS | July 26, 2023

OK Air Guard members support arms training with SOUTHCOM multinational partners

By Pte. Fiona McWhirter Royal Bermuda Regiment

Members of the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force and Oklahoma Air National Guard conducted marksmanship training and close quarters battle training with multinational partners as part of TRADEWINDS23 Exercise on July 16, 2023, at Camp Stephenson, Guyana.

Mexican Special Operations Forces joined U.S. joint force instructors, where they took part in rifle and pistol marksmanship training. The Mexican forces received refresher training and also increased their pistol and rifle weapons systems skills with new techniques.

“This is a great opportunity because we always like to work and share knowledge with the United States,” said a Mexican Special Operations Forces member. “We are assured we can learn many things from them.”

He highlighted that the forces are usually on operations with limited training opportunities, so TRADEWINDS23 is an important chance to develop capabilities.

The joint instructors also assisted the ground track in teaching close quarter battle tactics to military members from the Bahamas, Belize and the Dominican Republic.

“We’re here to support the ground track elements in range with safety and situational awareness, proper handling and employment of small arms such as rifles and sidearms or pistols,” said U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Chris Vaughan, a tactical air control party specialist with the 137th Special Operations Wing.

This training allowed participating nations to improve interoperability as U.S. Southern Command and its multinational partners work toward a cooperative, prosperous and secure hemisphere.

TRADEWINDS is an annual exercise for Caribbean-focused, foreign military interaction, maritime interdiction, ground security, and inter agency-focused Field Training Exercise supporting regional objectives with the goal to enhance regional collaboration, stability, and response effectiveness to security threats.
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