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150th SOW News

Air National Guard Airman brings knowledge, skills to Costa Rica

  • Published
  • 150th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

Staff Sgt. Bradley Vallez, New Mexico Air National Guard, is a tournament-winning Jiu-Jitsu competitor. He has the medal to prove it.

So when he was given the opportunity to share his knowledge of non-lethal combat techniques to Costa Rica’s police force, he jumped at the opportunity.

“I supported the State Partnership Program Non-Lethal Techniques Tactics and Procedures,” said Vallez. “I served as an instructor in teaching combatives and arrest control techniques as part of an exchange of information with the Costa Rican police force.”

Vallez found himself in Costa Rica because the country is New Mexico Guard’s SPP partner.  National Guard Bureau established SPP in 1991 to encourage cooperation of international civil-military affairs and people-to-people ties at the state level.

This was Vallez’s first visit to Costa Rica.

“This was by far one of the most rewarding TDYs (temporary duty) that I have been on in my Air Force career,” said Vallez. “To be able to take the information that I am a subject matter expert on for the Air Force and be able to exchange this information and ideas with the Costa Rican police force—to me personally made it very rewarding.”

The Albuquerque, N.M., native has been a member of the NMANG’s 150th Security Forces Squadron for approximately 10 years. He’s a Fire Team leader as well as an instructor of combatives and non-lethal weapons. He’s also a tactical combat casualty care instructor.

“Staff Sergeant Vallez’s professionalism was on display in Costa Rica,” said Capt. Adrian Mateos, Subject Matter Expert Exchange Officer in Charge in Costa Rica. “He is a prime case study of the SPP success where, with careful planning and rehearsals, a subject matter expert that is not a Spanish speaker is able to travel and effectively collaborate with the partner nation.”

Following his return to Albuquerque, Vallez competed in and finished first in the 135-pound division at the American Grappling Federation’s Jiu-Jitsu tournament.