By Staff Sgt. Osvaldo EquiteMay 4, 2015
CAMP SHELBY, Miss. (USASOC News Service, May 4, 2015) -- More than 100 Special Operations Forces members from Chile and the U.S. concluded a 17-day bilateral training exchange today at the Joint Forces Training Center at Camp Shelby, Miss.
Chilean SOF, Army National Guard Special Forces soldiers and Force Recon Marines, participated in the exchange April 15 -- May 1. The event, organized by Special Operations Command South, facilitated the development of tactical and operational interoperability between the forces to respond to regional crisis.
SOF members shared common tactics, techniques and procedures, or TTPs, completing training in pistol, rifle and sniper marksmanship, water survival, combatives, close quarter combat, urban operations, tactical field medical care and helocast and fast rope operations.
"I was extremely impressed with the professionalism and the warrior mindset the Chileans demonstrated," said a U.S. Special Forces captain, who for security reasons spoke on condition of anonymity.
"In many ways, they are very similar to us," said the captain, an Operational Detachment-Alpha team leader who worked daily with his Chilean counterpart. "We plan the same way and they even conduct operations the same way too."
On many occasions, Chilean and American operatives were fully integrated into stacks, training side-by-side at Camp Shelby's Combined Arms Collective Training Facility, a 35-building urban terrain complex.
Aside from sharing many similarities, U.S. and Chilean marines proved that both SOF counterparts learned from each other after observing how each of the teams maneuvered and operated throughout the exchange.
"When fast roping, they use a different lockout technique than us," said a U.S. Marine Corps team leader, who for security reasons chose to speak with anonymity. After seeing the Chileans use this technique, the U.S. Marine team will further evaluate the newly learned technique and possibly adopt it into their standard TTPs.
The training exchange, carried out by U.S. Army NG and Special Operations Detachment South members, gave the participants an opportunity to built strong and enduring partnerships.
"We had a very good experience working with [our U.S. counterparts]," said a Chilean SOF soldier. "While working together, [we realized that] a lot of our problems are also their problems," he explained, referring to the mutual cooperation the countries share in the region. "I hope to stay friends [with those I met here] for a long time."
To finalize the training exchange, SOF members from both countries participated in a joint airborne operation. After the jump, participants traded airborne wings as a sign of camaraderie and accomplishment.