Panama Police cadets say Fort Benning, WHINSEC, a highlight of their two-nation tour
By MAJ Mark Breugem, WHINSEC Simulations
Seventy-six Panamanian Police Cadets enjoyed a couple of days at the Maneuver Center of Excellence while they were touring the U.S. and Canada for their 23-day broadening experience.
Because Panama has been a part of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) since it opened, an Institute officer, Major Mark Breugem, was selected as the guide for their cadets’ stay here.
Highlights of the Fort Benning included airborne training and training simulations.
The cadets watched airborne students jump from a C-130 aircraft, and spoke with trainers from the 1-507th Parachute Infantry Regiment.
At the Clarke Simulation Center (CSC) in Harmony Church, the simulations team assigned all Spanish-speaking instructors, giving all cadets the opportunity to train on the Virtual Battlefield Simulator (VBS3) and the Reconfigurable Vehicle Simulator. A Cadet Vasquez said, “During the time that we visited the installations, what impressed me most is the technology that they have. The implementation of virtual simulators that are so close to reality, and that allow us to acquire the experience necessary to be able to transfer our training into reality, was what I really enjoyed.”
From the CSC, the cadets went to the Medical Simulations Training Center (MSTC) by Martin Army Community Hospital. Here the cadets had to deal with scenarios that they
might have to deal with in real life. The cadets were enthusiastic and completed the scenario. Cadet Gonzalez added, “It is nice that we are conducting this training, since strengthening the ties of fellowship between our organizations that work to provide security for each country have allowed the overall decrease of crime rate in the Western Hemisphere. I look forward to future partnerships.”
The cadets were kept working the entire visit, getting briefings about WHINSEC and the MCoE, a class on their responsibilities toward Human Rights and Democracy, and a tour of the world-class National Infantry Museum.