ISS1 2019

Reservist Magazine is the award-winning official publication of the United States Coast Guard Reserve. Quarterly issues include news and feature articles about the men and women who comprise America's premier national maritime safety and security

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Reserve LCDRs represent Coast Guard at international exercise in Tajikistan Story and photo submitted by Lt. Cmdr. Emir Holmes In yet another example of the U.S. Coast Guard's far-flung footprint, Lt. Cmdrs. Brandon McGowan and Emir Holmes of Coast Guard Reserve Unit Joint Staff–South in Suffolk, Va., took part in the execution and support of a U.S. Central Command multi-lateral exercise known as Regional Cooperation 2017, halfway around the world in landlocked, Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Tajikistan, located in central Asia, is a mountainous country bordered by China, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. It was a part of the former Soviet Union from 1929 until its independence in 1991. RC17 was hosted by Tajikistan's Ministry of Defense and scripted as a command post exercise with a focus on counterterrorism, border security and peacekeeping operations. More than 200 personnel and observers from the U.S., Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Pakistan participated in the exercise. In true joint service fashion, the U.S. was represented by the five armed forces, as well as the Army National Guard. Participants traveled some 6,500 miles to their destination in Dunshanbe, with many routing through as many as three different countries enroute to Tajikistan's capital city. CGRU JFCOM personnel quickly acclimated to their surroundings and were assigned to their respective partners from Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan as they settled into exercise execution. Holmes, an officer with skills honed by serving in Coast Guard port security units, worked with a Mongolian Army engineering company to develop innovative solutions to logistical and infrastructure issues in the exercise area of operations. Concurrently, McGowan, an officer with extensive experience supporting Joint Task Force Operations, was assigned to the Kyrgyzstan Army Battalion as an exercise information manager. He assisted the Kyrgyzstan Army role players respond to exercise injects involving insurgent activity, crisis and consequence management and the re-establishment of Rule of Law in the battlespace. RC17 is an annual exercise, targeting cooperation and interoperability between nations and enhanced responsiveness between multinational organizations. Ultimately, it's intended to build a functional capacity to address mutual security concerns. It also served as an opportunity for military members from all countries to forge that special bond between all who serve, and for Coast Guard members to provide insight into the unique role their service has in the armed forces of the United States. This message was underscored by the honorable Elisabeth Millard, U.S. ambassador to Tajikistan. "Together we are working toward the common goal of advancing regional security and stability, while also strengthening our partnerships and friendships," said Millard. "Opportunities such as these allow us to learn a great deal from each other's experiences and best practices in peacekeeping mission, border security and stability operations. This year is particularly significant for the history of the partnership between the United States and Tajikistan as we recently celebrated 25 years of diplomatic relations between our two countries." In August, the service participated in the 17th annual Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training exercise, which brought together service members from navies and coast guards from nine nations to focus on increasing maritime domain awareness through collaborative and coordinated information sharing. The Coast Guard is also engaged in the Oceania Maritime Security Initiative, with law enforcement detachments deployed on supporting U.S. Naval vessels such as the USS Shoup, assisting Pacific nations with protecting their exclusive economic zones and combating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. "The United States is a Pacific nation," said Vice Adm. Linda Fagan, commander of Coast Guard Pacific Area. "We have deep and long-standing ties with our partners in the region, and more importantly, we share a strong commitment to a free and open Pacific, governed by a rules-based international system that promotes peace, security, and shared prosperity." Lt. Cmdrs. Emir Holmes (L) and Brandon McGowan of Coast Guard Reserve Unit Joint Staff–South in Suffolk, Va., took part in a multi-lateral exercise known as Regional Cooperation, in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Issue 1 • 2019 � RESERVIST 15

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