Southern Vanguard 24 Soldiers attend Brazilian Night Jungle Familiarization and Academics Course
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – New York National Guard Brion Pasquale, combat medic assigned to the 466th Medical Company Area Support, discusses creating a modified shotgun shell with a Brazilian Army jungle trainer at the night portion of the jungle familiarization and academics position of Southern Vanguard 24 in Belem, Brazil, Nov. 04, 2023. Southern Vanguard, an annual bilateral exercise which rotates between partner nations in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility, is designed to enhance partner interoperability between the U.S. and partner nation forces. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Pietrantoni) VIEW ORIGINAL
Southern Vanguard 24 participants arrive in Brazil
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – New York National Guardsmen arrive in Belem, Brazil for Exercise Southern Vanguard 24, Oct. 28, 2023. Southern Vanguard, an annual bilateral exercise which rotates between partner nations in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility, is designed to enhance partner interoperability between the U.S. and partner nation forces. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Spc. Joshua Taeckens) VIEW ORIGINAL

MACAPA, Brazil — Forty-four Soldiers from the New York National Guard, working alongside active-duty Army and Brazilian Army Soldiers, recently concluded three weeks of training in Northern Brazil from Nov. 1 to 16, 2023.

Exercise Southern Vanguard 24 brought Soldiers from the 258th Field Artillery Battalion, 466th Medical Company, Area Support, the 133rd Composite Support Company, the 53rd Digital Liaison Detachment and 138th Public Affairs Detachment to the cities of Belem, Macapa and Oiapoque.

The New York National Guard Soldiers learned how to survive in the Brazilian jungle and participated in and supported tactical operations and training while providing medical support to Soldiers during the exercise.

New York Army National Guard Brig. Gen. Isabel Smith, director of joint staff for the New York National Guard, explained that this training operation helped prepare both countries for rapid deployment and improved readiness in response to crisis or contingency.

“Exercising together allows our armies to increase interoperability and demonstrates a shared commitment,” Smith said.

New York National Guard Supports Southern Vanguard 24
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – New York Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Olivia Mannetti (right), senior company medic with the 206th Military Police Company, tends to Soldier during the academics portion of Southern Vanguard 24 in Belem, Brazil, Nov. 3, 2023. Southern Vanguard, an annual bilateral exercise which rotates between partner nations in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility, is designed to enhance partner interoperability between the U.S. and partner nation forces. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Spc. Joshua Taeckens) VIEW ORIGINAL
Brig. Gen. Smith visits Macapa, Brazil for Southern Vanguard 24
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Gen. Isabel Smith, Director of Joint Staff for the New York National Guard, receives a brief for Southern Vanguard 24 in Macapa, Brazil, Nov. 5, 2023. Exercise Southern Vanguard 24 is designed for U.S. Army Soldiers to conduct pre-deployment activities, deploy and conduct air assault operations while enhancing interoperability with Brazilian army forces. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jordan Sutton) VIEW ORIGINAL

New York has worked alongside Brazil through the National Guard’s State Partnership Program since 2019, executing bilateral military and civilian engagements in order to increase partner capacity and capability, Smith said.

The New York Guardsmen trained alongside Soldiers from U.S. Army South, the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), the 7th Special Forces Group and the 1st Security Forces Assistance Brigade, as well as over 1,000 Brazilian army personnel assigned to Brazil’s 52nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Brigade.

New York Army National Guard Maj. Shelly Respecki, commander of the 466th, said she believed that the opportunity to learn about the jungle from the Brazilian Army was an invaluable experience from a medical perspective.

The unit provided medical support and supply throughout the exercise and treated a variety of injuries such as heat-related illnesses, environmental threats and emergency trauma, Respecki said.

“The course allows our Soldiers to understand what threats and risks are involved with training in the jungle,” said Respecki. “We’ll be better able to treat the participants knowing what they’re going through and how to survive in the jungle if needed to potentially sit on a patient.”

U.S. Army Soldiers Undergo Jungle Familiarization for Southern Vanguard 24
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – New York Army National Guard Cpt. Kyle Davis, assigned to the 258th Field Artillery Regiment, and Brazilian Army Sergeant 3rd Class Irwing Carvalho Marques, assigned to the 2nd Jungle Infantry Battalion, examine a starting point during a night time land navigation exercise prior to the start of Exercise Southern Vanguard 24 in Belém, Brazil on Nov. 3, 2023. Southern Vanguard 24 brings together U.S. and Brazilian military personnel to conduct operational and tactical training, in order to develop expertise and enhance shared capabilities between the two nations. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Spc. Joseph Liggio) VIEW ORIGINAL
Southern Vanguard 24 Opening Ceremony
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The Brazilian Army hosts the opening ceremony for Southern Vanguard 24/ CORE 23 in Macapa, Brazil, on Nov. 6, 2023. This year, Southern Vanguard 24 is held in conjunction with Brazil’s annual combined operations rotational exercise (CORE) 23. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Spc. Joshua Taeckens) VIEW ORIGINAL

While they learned to operate in a new environment, they found a sense of familiarity in some of their missions as well, the Soldiers said.

Guardsmen from the 53rd Digital Liaison Detachment integrated with the 23rd Jungle Infantry Brigade’s staff section for the duration of the exercise to support operations.

The public affairs Soldiers from the 138th supported media relations in conjunction with Army South counterparts, according to Capt. Stephanie Fernadez, the detachment commander.

The four artillerymen from the 258th Field Artillery, spent a lot of time with Brazilian gunners, according to Capt. Anthony Migliore, the assistant battalion fire support officer for the 258th’s B. Battery.

“I spent most of my time at the gun-line yesterday and it was just like being back at A Battery or B Battery with the 258th," Migliore said.

He provided fires planning support for a scenario involving attacks on enemy objectives, during the exercise, Migliore said.

U.S. and Brazilian Soldiers Commence Southern Vanguard 24
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – New York Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Tonia Dmeza, acting noncommissioned officer in charge of the 133rd Composite Supply Company, salutes during the playing of the U.S. national anthem during the opening ceremony for Exercise Southern Vanguard 24 in Macapa, Brazil, on Nov. 6, 2023. Exercise Southern Vanguard 24 is designed for U.S. Army Soldiers to conduct pre-deployment activities, deploy and conduct air assault operations while enhancing interoperability with Brazilian army forces. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Spc. Joseph Liggio) VIEW ORIGINAL
NYARNG Soldier leaves SV24 with souvenirs, memories, and a promotion
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army National Guard Soldiers pose for a photo with Brig. Gen. Joseph L. Biehler, Commanding General for the 53rd Troop Command and newly promoted Sgt. 1st Class Jonathan Pietrantoni, the138th Public Affairs Detachment readiness noncommissioned officer, after a promotion ceremony in Macapa, Brazil, Nov. 16, 2023. Pietrantoni supported three State Partnership Events to include Operation Parana in Brazil, the International Military Skills Competition in South Africa and now Southern Vanguard 24 in Brazil. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jordan Sutton) VIEW ORIGINAL

Spc. Myeonghyeon Chang, a water treatment specialist from the 133rd, said she got a lot of experience working in her specialty during the exercise.

“It’s been a really great experience for me, especially since this is my first time being in a Latin American country,” she said.

Chang said she and others from the 133rd provided pure water for both Brazilian and American exercise participants. They also got the change to cross-trained on the 7th Special Forces Group’s water purification equipment.

Ultimately, Southern Vanguard provided Soldiers with more than just training, as they returned to New York having formed new relationships and fresh perspectives, and also got a chance to experience Brazilian culture, the Soldiers said.

“I had a lot of opportunities to learn about their culture, language and how the Brazilian Army works and operates. The food was definitely great too,” Chang said.