U.S., PHL conclude training on countering threat networks

AFP, PNP, and NCWC personnel participate in DTRA’s Counter Threat Network operational exchange and training program to share best practices, knowledge, and skills related to the identification and analysis of networks that threaten Philippine national security interests.

On September 23, the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) concluded a two-year series of exchanges to enhance the capacity of Filipino military, police, and maritime personnel to identify, analyze, and counter criminal and terrorist networks that threaten peace and security in the Philippines.

Over the course of six analytic workshops and subject matter expert exchanges, the Counter Threat Network (CTN) operational exchange and capacity building program gathered intelligence personnel from the Armed Forces Philippines (AFP), the Philippine National Police (PNP), and the National Coast Watch Center (NCWC) to exchange knowledge and best practices on understanding and engaging networks of violent extremist organizations, insurgent groups, and criminal entities.  Participants also gained information on threat network analysis, threat visualization, critical capabilities analysis, and producing actionable intelligence reports.

These efforts are part of a broader security cooperation agreement established to enhance the integration of intelligence and operations against threat networks in a multidomain environment.

“Part of the CTN series that was most significant is the collaboration and operational exchange of the AFP, PNP and NCWC personnel.  With this activity, participants were able to establish networks and exchange knowledge and skills in achieving a common goal,” stated NCWC Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Jeffrey Abasolo.

“We are proud of the participants’ accomplishments in gaining a diverse set of analytic and critical thinking approaches to counter these complex networks,” DTRA Partner Engagement Division Educational Strategies Lead Mila Nieves said.  “They are well prepared to pass these skills on to their counterparts.”

According to DTRA Partner Engagement Division Chief Steve Greene, this latest exchange represents another example of the partnership between the U.S. Department of Defense and its counterparts in the Philippines.  “After six different workshops and over one hundred student interactions, we can say that we have shared a mutually beneficial learning experience where both countries have gained from the interaction and improved their ability to operate together to prevent and reduce threats.  We look forward to continued opportunities for collaboration.”