GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala – The closing ceremony of CENTAM Guardian 2023 (CG23) was held at the Central Air Force Command in Guatemala City on March 27, 2023. Chief of the National Defense Staff; Major General Wiliam Arnulfo López Chay, from Guatemala, delivered the principal speech with The Adjutant General (TAG) for the Arkansas National Guard; Brig. Gen. Jonathan M. Stubbs, U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) J79 Director of Exercises and Coalition Affairs; Kevin Bostick, The Assistant Adjutant General ATAG of the Ohio National guard; Brig. Gen. Matthew S. Woodruff, and the guest speaker, Ambassador to Guatemala; William W. Popp were also in attendance. Police and military forces from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala took part in an intensive training exercise to build partnership, readiness, adaptability, and confidence among the countries.
CG23 is an annual Army-led combined, joint, interagency, multi-national partnership-building exercise designed to build capacity and capabilities with Central American partner nations. The exercise addresses common security threats, further develops information sharing amongst the multinational coordination cell, and reinforces regional stability and interoperability with allied forces, which also results in benefits to the people of Guatemala.
“CENTAM Guardian 23 made us better, made us stronger, it has improved our ability to work together” said Brig. Gen. Stubbs. “A lot of goodness has occurred the past couple of weeks, goodness that will result in better interoperability and long lasting relationships between the United States and our Central American partners”
The training is part of the ongoing effort to mutually protect the region against transnational criminal organizations and other security threats, to demonstrate America's dedication and commitment to enduring peace and stability in the shared neighborhood.
“As this training strengthens the tactical capabilities of our armies, improving the preparation to combat common national threats such as drug trafficking, money laundering, human and arms trafficking,” said Maj. Gen. Lopez. “it provides cooperation among the sister forces of the United States of America, El Salvador, and Honduras.”
CG23 organizes a training program in Guatemala, inviting military advisors and interagency partners from various parts of the United States to train alongside military and interagency partners from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. The program aims to improve multi-domain, rapid response, security operations and strengthen collaboration and cooperation between military and security forces in the USSOUTHCOM Area of Responsibility (AOR) for better hemispheric security.
“It doesn’t end here. What you learn here, take it and use it every single day,” said SES Bostick. “Take it and share it to make you better, to make us better, and to make our partnerships stronger.”
During the ceremony, Maj. Gen. Wiliam Arnulfo López Chay and Big. Gen. Jonathan M. Stubbs recognized personnel from the Arkansas National Guard and all personnel from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras for their exemplary performance and dedication during CENTAM Guardian 23.
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