Story and photo by TSgt. Betty Squatrito-Martin, NGB - Counterdrug, Public Affairs
Hawaii National Guard Counterdrug (HING CD) personnel conducted Unit Prevention Leader (UPL) and Drug Testing Program Administrative Manager (DTPAM) certification training for HING members May 29-30 at the Counterdrug Headquarters in Honolulu, Hawaii.
This was the first time the UPL and DTPAM certification training was presented over the course of two days. The training was revised and expanded to two days to enhance UPL and DTPAM personnel’s ability to meet requirements of coordinating drug testing and providing substance awareness education training to unit/squadron members.
Day one, the trainees reviewed the intricacies and importance of proper pre-collection, collection, post collection and collection packaging regarding specimens for the Drug Testing Program.
Day two consisted of substance abuse prevention techniques. Part of the training included student presentations, which are designed to not only be informative but to train personnel on giving briefings.
“UPL and DTPAM duties require more than just specimen collection,” said Sgt. Barry Asberry, HING CD Prevention, Treatment, and Outreach Coordinator. “With one day of training we were barely able to cover specimen collection much less substance awareness education, but with two days of training, we are able to cover both specimen collection and drug awareness.”
All active Guard members are required to receive four hours of alcohol and other drug awareness training annually, while traditional Guard members are required to receive two hours of training annually.
By providing substance awareness education training to UPL and DTPAM personnel, the prevention program will be decentralized, enhancing the ability of Guard members to receive the required training.
“I am extremely excited to be participating in this new two day DTPAM/UPL training,” said Lt. Col. Tamah-Lani Noh, HING CD Coordinator. “With all the cutbacks in our substance abuse program, it is important to have a plan in place that will allow us to continue to provide support services to our Airmen and Soldiers. This training ensures proper specimen collection and paves the way for greater implementation of substance awareness education training at the unit level, enhancing mission effectiveness and readiness.”
The ultimate goal of the training is to educate Soldiers and Airmen and reduce the number of positive drug results and increase the hours of substance awareness education training accomplished at the unit/squadron level.
“The drug education piece was invaluable,” said Capt. Anji Lowe, 109th Operations Group requirements officer. “We will use the training we’ve received, tailor it to our units and deliver the message.”