JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-Fort Sam Houston – US Army South hosted the second annual Central American Working Group (CENTAM WG) with Army staff leaders from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras in a virtual event from August 23-27 to look for further training opportunities between the four armies.
During the opening session last year, the Salvadoran Army agreed to host a three-country exercise between the three Latin American armies in 2022. and at the end of this year’s meeting, all the armies involved were optimistic about the exercise planning.
“I believe this week has been very fruitful in our planning efforts for the CENTAM Guardian,” said Colonel Oscar Antonio Morales Peñate, director of operations for the Army of El Salvador. “We look forward to strengthening our ties with Guatemala and Honduras as we share the same threats between our borders. We are on the right track and it is important that we are ready to plan together in order to achieve all of the goals for next year’s exercise. “
The purpose of the CENTAM WG is to promote readiness-focused bilateral efforts that improve interoperability, contribute to the readiness of the entire armed forces, and enhance the capabilities of U.S. and land forces partners to address current and future strategic, operational, and tactical issues Security Challenges within the Western Hemisphere. The meeting also provided updated information on the CENTAM Guardian exercise and a roadmap for conducting the interoperability border exercise.
Col. Jeff Lopez, Chief of the Security Co-operation Division (SCD) of the Army South and head of the US Army Delegation, expressed the US objectives the command aims to achieve over the next five years.
“This is beneficial for Army South as we are developing bilateral agreements with our partner country to synchronize our regional efforts,” said Lopez. “This week allows us to identify resources and training opportunities to ensure our collective security and defense through shared responsibility.”
On the first day of the plenary session, each of the CENTAM army leaders presented an operational overview of their armies and the challenges they are facing. Subsequently, over the next three days, Army South staff held bilateral meetings to review agreed actions in which the US Army was coordinating with each army.
Bilateral agreements have been refined to support ARSOUTH’s efforts in communication, doctrine development and sharing, lessons learned, transnational threat defense and border security, intelligence, logistics and public affairs.
“The strengthening of our ties through this week’s activities is a shared benefit for all Central American armies,” said Col. Jorge Mario Alvarado Torres, chief of operations, Department of Plans and Orders of the Guatemalan Defense General Staff. “We can improve our skills development as an army to combat various threats. This is our work, this is our mission. “
Following on from CENTAM AG, staff will continue to develop the areas identified for collaboration until March 2022, when senior leaders from all four armies will come together in Guatemala City to validate activities during the school principals meeting over five years and confirm.
“The working group is a great opportunity for all participants to share information, lessons learned and best practices at management level; This will allow all of us to speak the same language and better serve the needs of our countries and regions, ”said Marco Rosito, Central America and Caribbean Officer, Army South SCD. “The bonds of friendship go beyond country-specific and cultural problems and help find a more effective response in support of our countries’ priorities. The implementation of this working group in different countries in the region helps us to develop the strengths of the other and to learn to count on our partners if necessary. ”
|Release Date:||08/31/2021 12:41 PM|
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