North Dakota ANG shares security expertise at APF Senegal

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  • By USAF
DAKAR, Sengal - Air guardsmen from the North Dakota Air National Guard have been sharing their lessons and experiences on airfield security with foreign partners at African Partnership Flight.

North Dakota-native Senior Master Sgt. Steven Gibson (SF Superintendent) and Minnesota-native Master Sgt. Todd Seguin (SF Squad Leader) of the 119th Air Wing in Fargo, N.D. have led 26 participants through discussions covering the fundamentals of air base defense, identifying and engaging threats, and improvised explosive device (IED) detection.

"As Air Guardsmen we like these international events," said Gibson. "We link up with our active duty counterparts, meet with fellow defenders from other nations and learn from one another."

"We covered apprehending suspects, vehicle and personnel searches," said Seguin. "Our purpose was to cover the fundamentals and start conversations with fellow defenders. We shared stories and learned a lot from one another"

Participants used stories and personal experiences to reinforce the fundamentals of air base defense.

"I was able to draw upon my two deployments to Iraq to explain the threat behind IEDs," said Seguin. "I showed the participants photos of IED to explain that a bomb can be placed and concealed anywhere."

"We had class participants who survived IED attacks and some had fellow troops killed in action," said Seguin. "The discussion on IEDs spurred a lot of war stories and lessons among our participants. Some of the nations at this APF are fighting active insurgencies and others have constant border disputes."

APF Senegal took place at Camp Arienne Cisse nearby Dakar International Airport. Workshops took place in tents on a dirt soccer field, which came with unique challenges.

"We can operate and build partnerships anywhere, but hot weather and language barriers can be a challenge," said Gibson. "Our APF partners had a mix of French and English speakers, thanks to them and our translators; we were able to work through any issues quickly."

"It doesn't matter where you come from or what uniform you wear," said Gibson. "Defenders face the same problems when we're on duty and protecting people and aircraft."