Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas -- U.S. Army South bid farewell to Chilean Army Brig. Gen. Edmundo Villarroel, the command's first deputy commanding general-interoperability, during a ceremony Jan. 22 at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston.

During the ceremony, Maj. Gen. Mark Stammer, U.S. Army South commanding general, acknowledged Villarroel's contributions since taking the role of DCG-I in October 2017 and thanked him for his dedication and hard work.

"Working with Brigadier General Villarroel gave our organization the opportunity to build trusted relationships while working closely with our partner nations," said Stammer. "He will be greatly missed."

Villarroel said he valued having the chance to work with such a fantastic team. He enjoyed being able to work among U.S. Army South's military and civilian professionals.

"I think that the whole team has worked to allow this integration to happen for the first time," said Villarroel. "A foreign general allowed inside and to participate in the processes and decisions that are made every day."

According to Villarroel, the integration of a foreign general from the Latin American region into the daily activities of a U.S. Army command was not easy and required planning, authorizations and high level of trust and confidence.

"I think having me here demonstrates the will of not only Army South but also U.S. Southern Command to integrate general officers of the region to be part of the team and perform the duties of the deputy commanding general of interoperability," said Villlarroel. "I think it demonstrates the will to improve the relationships and to transition from cooperation to integration."

Increasing interoperability and providing a regional perspective are among the highlights of Villaroel's time at U.S. Army South."The exercises we have planned will be better exercises because they have common purpose, common objectives, common training objectives and a common perspective in terms of which is the level of interoperability we would like to have among the U.S. Army, a specific country of the region or different countries throughout the region," said Villarroel. "I think just being able to influence and to provide a regional perspective is one of my most precious accomplishments."

"As we bid farewell to Brig. Gen. Villarroel we all recognize that he has been essential to Army South's success and a valued member of the team," said Stammer during the ceremony.
Villarroel previously served as the Chilean partner nation liaison officer from July 2014-February 2015.

The incoming U.S. Army South DCG-I will be from Brazil announced Villarroel.