Panamanian service members visit Rosecrans
By Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith , 139th Airlift Wing
/ Published July 11, 2012
ST JOSEPH, MO. -- Service members from the Panamanian military spent a few days at Rosecrans Air National Guard Base here July 10-12.
The visitors trained on military procedures and toured the 139th Airlift Wing' s workshops. It was part of the Missouri National Guard' s continuing partnership with Panama, which serves to further relations between the two nations.
Five visitors were escorted by Army Lt. Col. Rebecca Segovia, Missouri State Partnership director and Chief Master Sgt. Mark Frye, superintendent from the Wing's air crew flight equipment shop.
"It's a cool opportunity to get to know those from our partner nation," said Frye. "It's a lot of fun."
Airmen from Frye's shop shared information about their personal lives and their missions.
In turn, the Panamanian members explained how their service is similar to the National Guard's; with on-call and weekend duties added on to fulltime work.
After the ice breaker, they met with Operations and Security Forces Airmen and learned about their missions, equipment and procedures.
The Missouri Guard's partnership with Panama is among 65 other National Guard Bureau global partnerships developed through the states and territories.
The State Partnership Program is now part of a larger Security Cooperation for the Department of Defense, said Segovia. It is praised by the nation's top military leaders and elected officials for relationships that enhance "global security, understanding and corporation."
Segovia explained that the State Partnership Program also affords service members a chance to deploy to friendly nations.
"It provides some great international and joint experience for our Soldiers and Airmen," she said.