US, Qatari security forces pioneer bilateral relationship
By Tech. Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal, 379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
/ Published February 26, 2019
AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar (AFNS) -- Select security forces members from the 379th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron take on an ambassadorship role, pioneering bilateral interoperability with their Qatar Military Police counterparts during “Spartan Patrols” at Al Udeid Air Base.
These patrols, which team U.S. Air Force and QMP security forces together, regularly search the exterior of the 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,” Barnes said. “(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.”
Working closely with the U.S. Air Force has been a good experience said QMP Sgt. Saad Ahmed Al-Hubabi. The mutual respect between both sides has been impressive he added.
“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 (Al Udeid AB) will be,” said Capt. Justin May, 379th ESFS operations officer. “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.”