SOUTHCOM Celebrates Decade in Miami, Receives Defense Award

MIAMI -- The men and women assigned to U.S. Southern Command will attend a ceremony at 11 a.m. Friday recognizing their service to the nation with the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, an event that will coincide with a day long celebration marking the command's 10th anniversary headquartered in Miami.

SOUTHCOM earned the award for service from Jan. 1, 2005 to Dec. 31, 2006. Among the achievements recognized, the award acknowledges the command's timely delivery of 600,000 pounds of relief supplies to victims of Hurricane Stan in Guatemala and the rendering of life-saving aid to victims of an alcohol-poisoning emergency in Nicaragua. The award also cites the command's training and intelligence support to Colombia as an important contributor to the Andean nation's success in its fight against narcoterrorism.

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff awards the JMUA to joint units for actions superior to those normally expected in any of the following situations: combat with a declared armed enemy of the United States, a declared national emergency or any extraordinary scenario involving national interests.

The recognition ceremony coincides with the command's 10th anniversary in South Florida, an event to be celebrated by the command throughout the day with outdoor activities ranging from an anniversary cake cutting to an outdoor cookout and picnic with live music.

Following the ceremony, City of Doral Mayor Juan Carlos Bermudez is scheduled to announce the renaming of Northwest 33rd Street as Southern Command Boulevard in recognition of the command's contributions to the nation and South Florida.

SOUTHCOM relocated to Miami during the implementation of the Panama Canal Treaties of 1977 and officially began operating in South Florida on Sept. 26, 1997. Miami was chosen as the new home for the unified command from among 100 proposed military and civilian sites because of the city's strategic linkages to the 32 countries and 13 territories that make up the command's area of focus.

The command contributes more than $300 million annually to South Florida's local economy, purchasing more than 15,000 hotel nights and 10,000 airline tickets yearly. SOUTHCOM directly employs more than 1,300 military and civilian personnel who work, live, play and donate approximately 25,000 volunteer hours per year to South Florida communities.

U.S. Southern Command is one of the nation's five geographically-focused unified commands with responsibility for U.S. military operations in Latin America and the Caribbean. In the event of inclement weather, the outdoor ceremony will be moved to an adjacent tent.

Page last updated Thu September 27th, 2007 at 09:03