U.S. and Dominican Forces are training together to build relations, sharpen combat skills and improve interoperability

U.S. and Dominican troops practice short range shooting outside Santo Domingo.

By Graham Swaney, Public Diplomacy Intern

For the month of July the U.S. 20th Special Forces Group is participating in Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) with the Dominican Republic’s Unidad de Comando Especial Contraterrorismo (Special Counterterrorism Command Unit). The forces are training in a variety of skills designed to help improve Dominican operational planning and boost their ability to operate seamlessly alongside American forces in an emergency situation. This is the second training event of its kind this year.

A group of military units practice in front of shooting targets, while another officer looks on.
Dominican forces practice how to turn and fire.

In addition to improving synergy between U.S. and Dominican forces in the field, living and training together for an entire month helps build personal relations between military personnel from both nations and foster a sense of camaraderie. While safety, hard work and professionalism are central to the training, the troops also enjoy friendly competition among themselves (i.e. doing pushups for every shot missed on the range). The troops use these challenges push each other to work harder and boost morale.

Military units do squats
U.S. and Dominican forces do squats for missed shots.

Agustin Dominguez, the Chief of the Office of Security Cooperation noted that the Dominican Republic is a key military partner to the U.S. in the region. He added that JCET is an important tool that builds the capacity of our partner and strengthens ties between the two countries.