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U.S., Qatari ‘defenders’ pioneer bilateral relationship

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal
  • 379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

At Al Udeid, select security forces members from the 379th Expeditionary Security Forces Sqadron take on an ambassadorship role, pioneering bilateral interoperability with their Qatar Military Police counterparts during “Spartan Patrols.”

These patrols, which team U.S. Air Force and QMP ‘defenders’ together, regularly search the exterior of Al Udeid Air Base to ensure no vulnerabilities emerge.

“We sweep the exterior of the base and make contact with all their personnel at certain posts,” said Master Sgt. Jordan Barnes, 379th ESFS combined response joint patrol leader. “This combined joint patrol mostly keeps us in constant communication with QMPs. We take care of all security for our resources and our personnel inside the installation while they take control of everything on the outside. It’s really a courtesy for them to allow us to come with them.”

Barnes said working side-by-side with his Qatari counterparts is beneficial in ensuring assets and people are secure.

“It’s nice to have a joint effort with QMPs because they can show us how they do things, show us where they have their manning, and where and how they secure certain areas … it’s better as a combined effort,” said Barnes. “[If] they need us to respond and in case we need them for anything, we’ll have a better familiarization with anything outside-the-wire.”

QMP Sgt. Ahmed said working closely with U.S. Air Force defenders has been a good experience, and that there is mutual respect between the two police forces.

“Americans are disciplined people,” he said. “They obey the laws and follow the rules. They are good and we got the best treatment from them.”

Barnes said that working with his host nation counterparts has been an eye-opening experience for him and has been an opportunity for both sides to become more proficient.

“If we have a good relationship with the Qataris, it makes our job easier. We can combine our efforts, our manning and resources, and really have a total joint effort,” said Barnes. “It’s an important mission asset to provide that security and have a good working relationship: not just with our own armed forces, but military forces from different countries to see how they do things, see how they conduct themselves, and really just to have that camaraderie.”

The relationships built during Spartan Patrols not only increase the safety of those on the installation, they also strengthen interoperability going forward.

“[We] recognize that the further we can integrate our defense capabilities and emergency responses, the safer AUAB will be,” said Capt. Justin May, 379th ESFS operations offier. “This is why we post our forces together in critical areas. It's the reason we conduct combined patrols daily, and are leaning forward with training scenarios that fully incorporate our host nation counterparts. The relationship between the Qatari Emiri Air Force, QMP and ESFS is extremely strong, and will only continue to get stronger the more we work together.”