By Maj. Lyndon JonesJuly 28, 2008
AYOKO KAZERNE, Suriname - A delegation of Brazilian military officials received an operational overview of the Beyond the Horizons 2008 - Suriname exercise from U.S. Army South organizers July 19-21 at the Ayoko Kazerne Base Camp to familiarize themselves with humanitarian operations being conducted throughout the country.
"The delegation is observing the projects of Beyond the Horizon 2008 that have been developing in Suriname," said Lt. Col. Amadeu M. Marto, army attachAfA in Suriname.
The Brazilian delegation was briefed on humanitarian and engineering projects being conducted throughout the region and the logistical support capabilities of the exercise. They also toured the construction and renovation projects throughout the capitol city of Paramaribo.
Beyond the Horizon 2008 is an exercise that includes humanitarian and civic assistance projects, construction development, medical readiness training exercises, subject matter expertise exchanges and state partnership activities. The construction portion of this exercise is being completed by South Dakota, which is Suriname's partner state. The State Partnership Program helps to "build a bridge" between Suriname and the U.S. by establishing mutual understanding on a grassroots level.
Through the partnership, U.S. service members and units benefit by sharpening their occupational skills and practice deployment and redeployment while at the same time bringing lasting benefits to the partner nation and its people.
"It's a great opportunity for South Dakota Soldiers to utilize their job skills, work with members of the Suriname military and interact with local civilians at the project sites," said Capt. Sarah Holt, action officer, Task Force Southern Coyote, South Dakota National Guard. "This interaction facilitates positive relationships between the U.S. and Suriname."
Brazil is the largest and most populous country in South America and shares common boundaries with every country except Chile and Ecuador. It is the fifth largest country in the world and slightly smaller than the U.S. As a leading economic power and regional leader, Brazil is looking at BTH to understand the effects the humanitarian operations are having in the region.
"Given Brazil's immense influence in Latin America, we are interested in partnership opportunities within the humanitarian realm," said Col. Robert A.
Casias, Beyond the Horizon Task Force commander, U.S. Army South. "Brazil and the U.S. have a robust relationship based on shared democratic values."
"Last year we had a humanitarian operation in Suriname to aid a flooding area," added Marto. "A similar mission is taking place in Bolivia, and currently in Haiti, where peacekeeping operations are being conducted; the Brazilian Army is conducting humanitarian activities."
The Brazilian delegation was invited to BTH08 while participating in a bilateral army general staff meeting that took place between the Brazilian and U.S. military.
It is the hope of U.S. Army South commanders when the democratic values of humanitarian assistance and partnerships for peace initiatives are promoted, the prospect of future joint combined exercises between Brazil and the U.S.
or other nations will be promising.