Representatives from U.S. Army South traveled to Tegucigalpa, Honduras to lead a Central American Task Force, or CENTAM WG, during a three-day event held Sept. 7-9, 2022.
The CENTAM WG includes armies from three Latin American countries: El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. The event marked the third time that all participating nations have come together to continue to coordinate efforts for 2023 and propose future events for 2024 through 2027.
Honduran General Jose Luis Sauceda Sierra, Commander of Joint Doctrine and Military Education, welcomed all participating nations to the country and stressed the importance of working together to build capacity.
“With this we become more efficient and effective in all exercises, in this way we would have better results allowing us to improve our abilities to support our force and improve their professionalism,” said Sauceda Sierra.
Lt. Col. Miguel A. Gonzalez, chief of international military affairs for the Southern Army’s Security and Cooperation Division and head of the U.S. Army delegation, thanked Honduras for its hospitality and stressed the importance of the meeting.
“The purpose of the CENTAM Task Force is to strengthen bilateral and multilateral relationships and develop mutually beneficial capabilities to counter the proliferation of threat networks and respond to crises that threaten regional stability,” Gonzalez said.
After the presentations, each service gave a brief overview of their operations and explained the challenges they faced during the previous year. In addition to the previews, the working group discussed lessons learned from CENTAM Guardian 22 to contribute to the success of CENTAM Guardian 2023.
CENTAM Guardian is a multinational exercise designed to increase rapid response, security operations and enhance hemispheric cooperation and collaboration, explained Marco V. Rosito, CENTAM desk officer at SCD for the Southern Army.
“We realize that there are common issues affecting the region and if we tackle them together we would be more effective than tackling them as individual countries,” Rosito said.
The three-day working group closed with proposals, objectives and support activities by 2027 and ended with the signing of the minutes signaling the commitment of the armies to continue their cooperation.
“Through this event, we are supporting and cooperating with our regional partners to enhance our border security efforts,” Gonzalez said.
The next meeting of the CENTAM working group is the directors’ gathering where they will review and approve staff work and coordinated activities for the next year.