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NEWS | June 30, 2022

Kentucky Army National Guard instructors meet with Ecuadorian instructors

By Andy Dickson, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs Office

Kentucky Army National Guard instructors met with six Ecuadorian enlisted instructors at Wendell H. Ford Regional Training Center in Greenville, Ky. on June 27-30, 2022.

Senior noncommissioned officer instructors from the 238th Regional Training Institute (RTI) met with senior noncommissioned officer instructors from Ecuador’s Army and Air Force in an engagement to share ideas on how to train their servicemembers.

This engagement, according to Kentucky Air National Guard Capt. Joshua Selby, the bilateral affairs officer to Ecuador, is the first all enlisted subject matter expert engagement.

This is also the first time for an informal instructor to instructor group professional development in the near 30-year history of the partnership between Kentucky and Ecuador.

During the engagement, the instructors from each partner nation were able to find ways they could improve how instruction is given to their servicemembers.

During group discussions, Ecuadorian instructors learned how a quality assurance program for their instructional material could greatly help with providing standardized training to each of its four training regions.

“The big take-away from this assessment is the quality assurance,” said Sgt. 1st Class Clinton Scott, an instructor with the 238th RTI. “They realized during this engagement that not all of their military instruction was not being conducted with the same processes.”

Clinton also learned that the model of training the Ecuadorian military uses, the experiential learning model (ELM), is very similar to the way the U.S. Army trains its Soldiers.

ELM teaches that there must be a concrete experience prior to learning information. That new information has to connect to that concrete experience before it can be learned.

“The Ecuadorian’s model is almost identical to ours,” said Scott.

The partnership between Ecuador and Kentucky is especially important for both countries.

“This engagement is big right now because of the political situation in Ecuador,” said Selby. “This partnership is still a high priority for Ecuador and the United States.”

Selby also gave an example on how we are learning from Ecuador’s military to plan for natural disasters.

In 2016, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake hit the Manta region of Ecuador, killing almost 700 people and injuring hundreds of thousands. Over 13,500 military and police personnel were called upon to help with disaster relief.

The Kentucky National Guard trains regularly for such an event due to the proximity of the New Madrid fault. By engaging with Ecuadorian lessons learned, our Soldiers and Airmen can be better prepared for any potential disaster.

Scott said the engagement was a way to compare processes and share experiences.

“I personally think it was great to do a senior leader engagement,” said Scott. “We were really able to make a great connection during the discussions.”

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