Guam "port dawg" makes local news for civilian job

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Phyllis Keith
  • 624th Regional Support Group Public Affairs
An Air Force Reserve operations chief with the 44th Aerial Port Squadron, 624th Regional Support Group, Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, was recognized in a Guam newspaper Oct. 28, for teaching a National Fire Academy (NFA) course, a first for the Pacific region.

Chief Master Sgt. Joey Manibusan, a reservist whose civilian job is fire marshal for the island of Guam, taught a "Fire Cause Determination for Officers" course to 30 attendees Oct. 20 to 25, at a hotel in Tamuning, Guam, according to the Marianas Variety Guam Edition.

Manibusan said participants included inspectors, lieutenants, captains, fire chiefs, detectives, and an insurance agent from Guam, Saipan, Palau, and the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force fire departments. The course covered fire scene documentation; evidence preservation; arson detection; scientific methods; electrical topics; building construction; courtroom procedures; and vehicle, structural, and fatal fire investigations, according to the Marianas Variety.

Manibusan, like many reservists, has a civilian job that is different from the one he does in the Air Force Reserve; however, both require followership and leadership.

After serving seven years on active duty as an aircraft armament specialist, Manibusan returned to Guam to work for the Guam Fire Department. Eventually, he joined the Air Force Reserve as an aerial porter or "port dawg," responsible for management and movement of cargo and passengers transported in the military airlift system. Having moved up the ranks to operations chief, his job is to evaluate and inspect aerial port operations and programs for efficiency and effectiveness. Similarly, as a fire marshal with the Guam Fire Department, he is responsible for enforcing fire code and investigating fires for origin and cause.

Both positions exemplify the Air Force core value of service before self.

"A large majority of the Guam Fire Department is either veterans of the military or members of the Guard and reserves," said Manibusan. He said Senior Master Sgt. Joseph Tedtaotao, a cargo specialist with the 44th APS, and retired Master Sgt. Jesse Aquino and former Tech. Sgt. Ignacio Campos who attended the NFA course are fire officers with the Guam Fire Department. 

Manibusan said the course was an important "first" for the Pacific region because the NFA was considered the "West Point" of the fire service, "West Point" referring to the prestigious U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York.

Manibusan, a firefighter for 24 years, told the Marianas Variety that learning how to determine the cause of fires was key to preventing future accidental fires, and a way to apprehend arsonists and bring closure to victims.