Salvadoran Soldier hold gate
Sgt. 1st Class Scott Simons transports equipment from a staging yard to the Tactical Operations Center on Military Detachment Six as Salvadoran Soldier Roman Antonio Magana holds opens the gate, Sonsonate, El Salvador, March 21, 2013. Members of Joint Task Force Jaguar arrived here in March to finalize plans for the Beyond the Horizon-El Salvador exercise.

SONSONATE, El Salvador (April 2, 2013) -- After months of preparation, Joint Task Force Jaguar arrived in El Salvador along with more than 75 other service members to finalize plans for the comprehensive joint exercise, Beyond the Horizon El Salvador 2013.

The effort of operations right now is ensuring the task force is prepared to meet mission requirements once units begin arriving.

"Our primary focus right now is preparing our life support system and getting our operations set up so when rotational units begin arriving we can hit the ground running," said Lt. Col. Raymond Valas, Joint Task Force Jaguar commander. "There are folks working all day and night to get this place operational. We have moved nearly 100 pieces of cargo from the port to DM6 (Military Detachment Six) over the past week, which is no small feat."

Doing all that is a difficult process that requires a great deal of coordination by operations personnel.

"The operations staff is occupied ensuring containers and personnel are coordinated successfully," said Sgt. 1st Class Robert Szczepkowski, operations noncommissioned officer for the task force. "Right now, personnel safety and successful transfer of containers are of the highest priority."

Beyond the Horizon is a U.S. Southern Command-sponsored, U.S. Army South-planned and led annual humanitarian and civic assistance exercise. The exercise provides construction and medical assistance to partner nations throughout Central and South America and the Caribbean.

The exercise generally takes place in rural, underprivileged areas and is a major component of the U.S. military's regional engagement efforts and it affords a unique opportunity to train U.S. service members alongside partner nation personnel, while providing needed services to communities throughout the region.

Page last updated Tue April 2nd, 2013 at 00:00