MACAPA, Brazil — Standing under the beaming Brazilian sun, Soldiers assigned Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) stood at close interval in formation as Brazilian Army Gen. Luciano Ghuilherme, the Military Command Northern commander, officially declared the start of Southern Vanguard 24, the morning of Nov. 6, 2023.
“It is with great joy that I witness this important day and welcome all these important this vibrant and well-prepared troop assembled before us,” hailed Ghuilherme.
The soldiers standing in formation represented a fraction of the 1,300 participating in the exercise from both armies.
The training audience for this year’s iteration of Southern Vanguard includes 300 Soldiers assigned from U.S. Army South, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), 7th Special Forces Group, 1st Security Forces Assistance Brigade and New York Army National Guard Soldiers.
For the next two weeks, U.S. Army Soldiers will train alongside Brazilian Army partners, conducting air assault operations, urban operations and weapons familiarization.
Southern Vanguard is a SOUTHCOM-sponsored, annual exercise at the operational and tactical levels to increase interoperability between U.S and Western Hemisphere forces, in this instance, Brazil.
“Exercising together allows our armies to increase interoperability and demonstrates a shared commitment to rehearsing our rapid deployment capabilities and refining procedures while providing an excellent venue to improve readiness and prepare to respond to a crisis or contingency,” said Brig. Gen. Isabel Smith, director of joint staff for the New York National Guard.
This is the second time since its inception in 2021 that the partner nations have come together here in Brazil for Southern Vanguard, which is occurring in conjunction with Brazil’s annual combined operations rotational exercise 23.
CORE is the result of a cooperation program signed between Brazil and the United States. The first edition took place in Southeast Brazil in 2021, and the second took place at Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Johnson, La., in 2022.
“In the following days, we will be experiencing the third edition in the Northern region of Brazil,” Ghuilherme bellowed. “We will be in the heart of Eastern Amazon!”