SENTUL, Indonesia – For the first time in four years, soldiers with the Hawaii Army National Guard (HIARNG) participated in a peacekeeping training event in Indonesia.
For some Guard members this was their first time to Indonesia and first time to support a peacekeeping operations training event.
More than 800 participants from 21 countries are participating in the largest peacekeeping training event of 2014 that will take place from Aug. 19, 2014 to Sept. 1, 2014.
The Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI) Capstone Training Event Garuda Canti Dharma is an Indonesia-hosted and U.S.-sponsored multinational training event designed to train Indonesian National Defense Forces and GPOI Partner Nation defense personnel for deployment to U.N. peacekeeping missions.
“This is my first time to Indonesia and first time to participate in a peacekeeping operations training event,” said U.S. Army Spc. Arjay Honorato, Hawaii Army National Guard Charlie Troop, 1-299 Cavalry.
Arjay said it was a great experience for him to observe other countries train and work together in a U.N. peacekeeping training event. “With only two years of service in the military, I am so excited to see what Indonesia is like,” Arjay said. “And it’s even more exciting for me to make friends from so many other countries.”
“While working with participants from the other countries, the only challenge I faced was adapting the way I train since it was different from what I was used to back home,” Arjay said.
Arjay further explained the peacekeeping operations training is a lot more hands-off and less physical in nature compared to his war fighting training experience.
“Learning to adapt helped me and my team improve a lot in comparison to the first day we arrived here,” Arjay said. “And what was really beneficial was rehearsing our training to make sure everyone involved is on the same page including those from other nations.”
“In addition to training with people from other nations, I thought it was nice to see instructors from different nations working together to teach us,” Honorato added. “I thought it was pretty cool, and I think for U.N. training it’s the best way to teach.”
Aside from working and training together, Arjay said he after work he enjoyed playing sports such as basketball and volleyball with his fellow troops and troops from other nations.
He added that he and his brother Christopher, who is also participating in the same training event, could sometimes get very competitive in sports.
“Like Arjay, I really enjoy playing sports and competing with other countries,” said U.S. Army Sgt. Christopher James Honorato, Hawaii Army National Guard Charlie Troop, 1-299 Cavalry. “And I also agree with Arjay that the training here is very beneficial, and it’s a good experience to learn from members of other countries especially how they approach different situations,” Christopher added.
Christopher said this year’s training reminds him of his last training experience in Indonesia.
“I came to Indonesia in 2010 and participated in Garuda Shield,” said Christopher who has served in the military for five years. “It’s interesting because I always learn something new, and am always looking to make new friends and enjoyable memories.”
Christopher added this year’s training was even more enjoyable because his brother is here serving with him and Arjay agreed.
“Serving with my brother is just like being home,” said Arjay. “He is my team leader, and I look up to him and enjoy working together.”
This work, Hawaii Guard brothers support largest peacekeeping training event together, by CPT Christine Rosalin, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.