94th AAMDC exchanges cultures with Aussie allies

| July 8, 2016 | 0 Comments
The 94th AAMDC bids farewell to Australian WO2 Dominic “Fred” Cunningham, 16th ALR, Royal Australian Artillery, June 17.

The 94th AAMDC bids farewell to Australian WO2 Dominic “Fred” Cunningham, 16th ALR, Royal Australian Artillery, June 17.

Maj. Troy Frey
94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command
Public Affairs

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM — The 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command hosted Warrant Officer Class 2 Dominic “Fred” Cunningham from May 19 – June 20 as part of an officer exchange between the 94th AAMDC and the 16th Air Land Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery.

Australia has recently increased their interest and commitment to enhancing their Integrated Air and Missile Defense capability. The renewed commitment by Australia to counter the ballistic missile threat is welcomed by the 94th AAMDC, which is seeking immediate opportunities to engage with Australia.

“Australia is a key strategic and regional leader as well as one of five Treaty Allies in the Indo-Asia Pacific region,” explained Capt. Cameron Smith, strategic plans (G5) planning officer. “Their partnership enhances coalition willingness and ability to work multilaterally to counter the growing threats to stability in the region.”

The 94th AAMDC is working with Australia to build a recognized officer exchange program which is meant to foster and enhance collaborative efforts between the two nations. In the short-term, the 94th AAMDC and the Australian 16th ALR are periodically sending officers on temporary duty to work these collaborative efforts until a long-term exchange program is developed.

Cunningham, who is the operations warrant officer with the 16th ALR, was the first Australian officer to participate in the exchange. He learned of his nomination for the officer exchange program in April.

“I found out that I would be coming to the 94th AAMDC in Hawaii during a conversation in early April with my commanding officer, Lt. Col. White,” shared Cunningham. “He asked me if I had any plans for June and if I would like to go to Hawaii and work with the 94th – needless to say I didn’t take long to decide.”

The importance of this exchange and the possibility for a permanent liaison officer position between the two units is not lost on Cunningham.

“A Permanent LNO position between our two units [the 94th AAMDC and the 16th ALR] would allow us to gain a better understanding of the way we both do business,” said Cunningham. “As we grow our partnership it will enable us to find ways to work together and become inter-operable.”

Smith agreed with Cunningham and said, “Australia’s IAMD capability developments will reduce the long-term burden on U.S. forces in the Pacific and enhance our multilateral efforts critical to building a strong outer layer of Homeland Defense.”

There are many differences between the two units but the similarities are very apparent.

“The 16th ALR and the 94th AAMDC have capabilities which are in high demand,” said Cunningham. “This means both units are extremely busy.”

While a lot of time was spent explaining the capabilities of the 16th ALR and working with the 94th AAMDC planners looking for ways that the two units could integrate; Cunningham was also able to enjoy Hawaii.

“Hawaii has amazing islands with lovely beaches, amazing countryside and good coffee,” said Cunningham. “My favorite activities were snorkeling at Hanauma Bay, running up Diamond Head and Koko Head, and watching the sunrise from the top of Haleakala on Maui.”

The experience was one that WO2 Cunningham will likely not forget, and he looks forward to sharing what he has learned with his colleagues back in Australia and letting them know about the Sea Dragons.

“The engagements being conducted with countries in the region, especially Australia, to try to build partnerships in the air and missile defense capability is the main thing I will take back from my time here,” stated Cunningham. “I found the 94th AAMDC to be a thoroughly professional unit which provides an important defense capability to the region. I’ve made some good contacts which will help pave the way for future engagements between our two units.”

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Category: Leadership, News

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