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Face of Defense: Dominican Republic-Born Airman Serves Proudly

By By Air Force Staff Sgt. Robert Hicks, 621st Contingency Response Wing

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Air Force Staff Sgt. Angel Moquete, an air adviser assigned to the 571st Mobility Support Advisory Squadron here, was born in the Dominican Republic.

“My father had a great job, but when you are living in a developing country and you know the United States is the best country in the world, why wouldn’t you want to start a life there?” Moquete said.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Angel Moquete, assigned to the 571st Mobility Support Advisory Squadron based at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., right, poses for a photo with a host-nation security force member in the Dominican Republic, Nov. 15, 2016. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Robert Hicks
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Angel Moquete, assigned to the 571st Mobility Support Advisory Squadron based at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., right, poses for a photo with a host-nation security force member in the Dominican Republic, Nov. 15, 2016. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Robert Hicks
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Angel Moquete, assigned to the 571st Mobility Support Advisory Squadron based at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., right, poses for a photo with a host-nation security force member in the Dominican Republic, Nov. 15, 2016. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Robert Hicks
airman
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Angel Moquete, assigned to the 571st Mobility Support Advisory Squadron based at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., right, poses for a photo with a host-nation security force member in the Dominican Republic, Nov. 15, 2016. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Robert Hicks
Photo By: air force
VIRIN: 161115-F-F3201-002A

He was six years old when he moved to the United States and settled in California.

Moquete continued to travel to the Dominican Republic almost every summer to visit his family and friends.

While he was a teenager Moquete attended a military academy in San Luis Obispo, for seven months and that’s where his military career began.

“The instructors at the academy were all military and they helped to shape my decision,” Moquete said.

Joining the Air Force

Moquete would go on to join the Air Force as a security forces defender, where his first assignment would be with Air Force Special Operations Command at Hurlburt Field, Florida.

While stationed at Hurlburt Field, he became part of a unit called the Deployed Aircraft Ground Response Element. The unit provides enhanced security for Air Force Special Operations Command and special operations forces aircraft transiting airfields where security is unknown or inadequate. He also advised the mission commander on force protection measures, conducted force protection surveys, provided close-in security and assisted with Special Operations Forces-led protective service operations.

Across the Air Force, only four bases maintain DAGRE teams for mission operations. Training is offered twice per year and class sizes are limited, ultimately meaning that only the best of the best are selected for consideration to become DAGRE members.

On his mission to be considered for a 571st air adviser slot, Moquete volunteered to attend training to be a Phoenix Raven, which is also a select group of defenders.

These airmen are trained to perform as teams to detect, deter and counter threats to personnel and aircraft at deployed locations by performing close-in aircraft security and advising aircrew on force protection measures.

Varied Duty Assignments

Moquete said his duty has taken him to Peru, Mali, El Salvador and Guatemala.

“I’ve been really blessed throughout my military career,” he said. “Not many people get the opportunity to take part in programs such as these and have the opportunity to travel the world, try to make a difference and have fun while doing it.”

When he was a young airmen Moquete said he once joked with his friends about having the opportunity to return to the Dominican Republic and participate in a mission. But he didn’t imagine it becoming a reality.

“Being a part of the 571st MSAS’s first-ever trip to the Dominican Republic was amazing, I couldn’t believe I was there,” Moquete said. “It was truly a humbling experience having the chance to work with my SF counterparts. I felt like we had so much in common and we could relate to each other, it was amazing.”

Providing Security Forces Training

While in the Dominican Republic, Moquete was part of the squadron’s mobile training team that trains host-nation military members on security forces tactics such as close quarters training, team movements and communication, proper searching and handcuffing procedures and de-escalation procedures.

The squadron will continue engaging with the Dominican Republic supporting U.S. Southern Command objectives, said Moquete, noting he has been selected to be the country’s team sergeant for future engagements.

“My family is just as shocked as I am, and they are very proud of me,” Moquete said. “My father is a very accomplished person, and he came here and wanted me to have a better life and I’m trying to make him proud.”

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