U.S. Army South concludes staff talks with Brazil
May 4, 2012
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (May 4, 2012) -- U.S. Army South and a delegation of senior staff officers from the Brazilian army closed out the annual army-to-army staff talks between the two countries by signing the minutes to the meeting during a closing ceremony at the Army South headquarters, May 3.
Maj. Gen. Simeon G. Trombitas, the commanding general of Army South, was joined by Maj. Gen. Luiz Guiherme Paul Cruz, the 5th deputy chief of staff of the Brazilian army and the head of the Brazilian delegation, for the week-long staff talks conference.
U.S. Army South conducts annual bilateral staff talks with the Brazilian army to strengthen professional partnerships and increase interaction between armies.
"Through this forum, we'll chart a course for our army-to-army activities and develop a plan that will strengthen our relationship with Brazil and allow us to become more interoperable," said Trombitas.
The U.S. Army has engaged in annual bilateral staff talks with Brazil since 2005. U.S. Army South, as the Army service component command for U.S. Southern Command, conducts staff talks on behalf of the chief of staff of the Army.
"The bilateral talks are an important forum to discuss our mutual interests and to share some insights about many subjects," said Cruz. "For us, it is very important to have those opportunities to enhance more and more the close relationships both armies have."
The staff talks have been instrumental in enhancing the interoperability and cooperation between the two armies, which contributes to increased security and stability in the region.
During the week-long conference, the two delegations drafted a list of 11 Agreed to Actions, known as ATAs, that covered a wide range of professional exchanges designed to improve the working relationship between the two armies.
Some of the ATAs include: enhancing operational readiness, force modernization, enhancing army engineer capabilities, strengthening special operations capabilities, and initiatives in support of national security of partner nations in which the U.S. Army and Brazil will co-host a conference on security cooperation for the Western hemisphere partner nations.
One of the major ATAs that made the list was improving military support to civilian authorities for global events. In addition to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief subject matter expert exchanges, a U.S. delegation will visit Brazil to observe the country's efforts in preparation of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.
"These talks allow our armies to map out a course of training and assistance to each other in the next year," said Trombitas. "In this manner, we gain a greater understanding of each army's capabilities and the challenges we face."
Last year the staff talks were held in Brasilia, Brazil, and both armies have been conducting various events, training, exercises and exchanges together as a result of the agreements made in 2011.
"The U.S. and Brazilian armies have an enduring relationship that dates back as far as World War II, and was strengthened when we worked together during the Haitian earthquake relief in 2010," said Trombitas. "The Brazilian army is a very capable and a highly professional force and these staff talks help strengthen our close relationship."
In addition to Brazil, U.S. Army South conducts staff talks with the armies of Chile, Colombia and El Salvador on behalf of the chief of staff of the Army.