Local April 10, 2014 | 11:20 am

Puerto Rico and State Partnership Program partner Dominican Republic discuss border security

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – In an effort to continue strengthen an already strong relationship, Citizen-Soldiers from the Puerto Rico National Guard and 30 army officers and customs and border protection agents from the Dominican Republic participated in a 5-day seminar at Campamento 6 de Agosto at Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, from Mar. 24 to Mar. 28.

The seminar responds to an exchange of knowledge between partners or allied countries of the United States as part of the Department of Defense’s State Partnership Program, in which National Guard units and partner countries cooperate among each other in areas related to security, military capabilities and interoperability. During the visit, the PRNG and its Dominican allies focused on border protection and crowd control.

“We are here to support Dominican efforts to enhance their check point security methods and procedures and expand their knowledge on non-lethal crowd control,” said Col. Saul Ferrer, director of strategic plans, policy and international affairs for the Puerto Rico National Guard.

During the seminar, members of the PRNG and the Dominican counterparts had the opportunity to not only discuss their ideas and best practices in border protection procedures, but also had practical exercises in which each country make a demonstration of their operating procedures for comparison.

“This seminar should enhance the capacity of the units in detecting, monitoring, and interdicting all forms of illicit trafficking coming across the land border with Haiti,” said Ferrer.

According to Ferrer, the seminar should also increase the understanding and capabilities of the Dominican military forces assigned to control and protect the border.

“It would be good to have the Puerto Rico National Guard in a seminar where the host nation can learn, observe, and comprehend the methods and procedures we have as directed by federal regulation in check point procedures,” said Ferrer.

According to Ferrer, in the area of crowd control, an opportunity of this kind should provide the Dominican partners with a better understanding on the use and effects of non-lethal crowd control initiatives that directly correlate to border protection. This should also help the host nation in reinforcing their techniques and policies on non-lethal initiative.

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