The strategy we developed will maintain, we believe, the strongest military in the world by every measure, and that's essential because of the nature of the security challenges that we're facing.
- Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, speaking about the shadow of sequestration which is being cast over the Defense Department, at a news conference at the Pentagon, April 16, 2012.
Panetta, Dempsey say Pentagon feels sequestration's shadow
The strength of our Army is our Soldiers. The strength of our Soldiers is our families. The strength of our Soldiers and our families is supported by the strength of the community. This is what makes us Army strong.
- Lt. Col. Warren Bacote, Fort Devens garrison commander, thanks the community for their ongoing support to deployed troops, at the Chelmsford (Mass.) Military Community Covenant Appreciation Event, held April 12, 2012.
Soldier thanks community for family support during his deployment
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Beyond the Horizon 2012
What is it?
Beyond the Horizon 2012 is a U.S. Army South exercise deploying military engineers and medical professionals to Guatemala and Honduras for training, while providing services to rural communities. BTH, conducted annually, is part of U.S. Southern Command's (SOUTHCOM) humanitarian and civic assistance program. Working closely with host nation forces and civilian organizations, BTH teams provide medical, dental and engineering support.
What has the Army done?
Under the strategic guidance of SOUTHCOM, Army South has planned and conducted BTHs since 2008, including missions in the Dominican Republic and El Salvador. U.S. personnel from the Army Reserve, National Guard and active duty forces construct schools and clinics and provide medical and dental support. During each four-month BTH exercise several smaller events called medical readiness training exercises (MEDRETEs) take place, which consist of a team of military medical and dental professionals who work in austere areas to gain valuable real-world training, while also providing medical services to people in need of treatment.
Army South was one of the first Army Service Component Commands to conduct joint BTHs and MEDRETEs. The BTH series of exercises have provided care to hundreds of thousands of people and built or renovated dozens of facilities in the SOUTHCOM area of responsibility.
This year, U.S. forces, working with the approval of the governments of Guatemala and Honduras, selected several sites to provide engineering, medical and dental support. U.S. forces will work alongside host nation forces as well as a variety of government and non-government organizations to build schools, clinics and conduct MEDRETEs. Each BTH typically involves and trains about 1,400 U.S. service members and 150 host nation personnel. The opening ceremony for BTH Honduras took place on April 16 and the opening ceremony for BTH Guatemala will take place on April 18.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
Army South, working with SOUTHCOM, our sister services and partner nations, will continue to build upon our strong partnerships in the region by training and providing humanitarian assistance, while engaging with our allies and building partner nation capacity.
Why is this important for the Army?
BTHs are a major part of Army South's regional engagement efforts and afford the opportunity to train service members while providing needed services to communities throughout the region. The relationships built and sustained with our partners help tremendously in building security and stability in the region.
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U.S. Southern Command
SOUTHCOM - Humanitarian Assistance Program
Beyond the Horizon 2011
Army.mil: Humanitarian Relief
Army Soldiers, doctors treat more than 25,000 Dominican residents
Army engineers build clinics, receive training in the Dominican Republic
BTH 2011 looks to aid Salvadoran schools, train Soldiers
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