Conference of American Armies closes commanders' meeting, plans to gather again in Mexico City next
December 13, 2012
- U.S. Army South CG leads U.S. delegation to Conference of the American Armies on behalf of CSA
- U.S. Army South strengthening regional security
- Building and Sustaining Relationships and Partner Nation Capacity in the Americas
MEXICO CITY (December 14, 2012) - The Conference of American Armies closed the first year of its 30th cycle with the gathering of chiefs of armies from the Caribbean, Central, North and South American countries in a military ceremony hosted by the Mexican army at the Campo Militar #1 in Mexico City Dec. 13.
The CAA, comprised of 20 member armies, five observer armies and two international military organizations from the Caribbean, Central, North and South American countries conducted four plenary sessions, dozens of bilateral meetings and approved the recommendations from several specialized conferences and exercises that took place in the last 12 months.
"The army chiefs discussed findings and approved recommendations from the communications exercise, legal, science and technology, emerging threats and risk situations and disaster relief operations specialized conferences and peacekeeping operations exercise that took place in different countries over the last several months," said Col. James K. Rose, U.S. Army South's security cooperation division chief.
The Conference of American Armies, founded in 1960, opened its 30th cycle of the gathering of chiefs of armies from the Caribbean, Central, North and South American countries in a military ceremony hosted by the Mexican army here Monday.
The CAA is a forum for chiefs of armies to come together and discuss issues of mutual interest in order to contribute to hemispheric security, protect against threats and enhance interpersonal relationships.
The army chiefs normally meet every two years, but in its last meeting, in October 2011 in Lima Peru, the members decided to hold an Extraordinary Commanders' Meeting this year here Dec. 10-13.
The Mexican army led and hosted the army chiefs, commanders, and representatives from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, United States, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Suriname, Uruguay, and the Inter-American Defense Board. The Mexican army will also host the regular Commanders Conference here in 2013.
The U.S. Army South commanding general, Maj. Gen. Frederick S. Rudesheim, who attended the gathering for the first time as a commander, led the U.S. delegation at the Extraordinary Commanders' Meeting this week on behalf of the Chief of Staff of the Army (CSA), Gen. Raymond T. Odierno.
"This meeting of regional senior army leaders was extremely beneficial," said Rudesheim, who previously served on the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff as the division chief for Central, South America and the Caribbean and also as the deputy director for Political Military Affairs (Western Hemisphere) J5, before assuming command of U.S. Army South in September. "The CAA is a viable and important institution that contributes to the stability and security of the partner nations in the Western Hemisphere."
Rudesheim knows the region well; he was born and raised in Panama by American parents and speaks Spanish fluently, and he's dealt with many of the regional issues in his previous positions on the Joint Staff.
"One of the most beneficial aspects of this Extraordinary Commanders' Meeting was having the opportunity to sit down and have one-on-one discussions with army chiefs and senior leaders," said Rudesheim.
Rudesheim, along with, Tatiana C. Gfoeller, the CSA's senior political advisor and a former U.S. Ambassador, met with senior army leaders and chiefs from Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Peru and Trinidad and Tobago. Rudesheim invited Ambassador Gfoeller to attend to observe and assist as a foreign policy advisor.
In addition to planning to hold the regular Commanders' Conference in Mexico in 2013, the army chiefs agreed to support a Civil Military Exercise in Canada in April, an Environmental Conference in Brazil in May, a Procedures, Education and Training Conference in Uruguay in June, a second Communication Exercise, a Commanders Video Conference and a Preparatory Conference in the summer in Mexico.
"The Mexican army, as the host nation, did an absolutely phenomenal job in planning, leading and executing this historic commanders' meeting," said Rudesheim. "I was impressed with their leadership, planning and execution of the entire week of events."