FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas - U.S. Army South received a special visit from the Under Secretary of the Army at their headquarters here Feb. 4. The Honorable Joseph W. Westphal obtained a first-hand account of U.S. Army South's dynamic mission including their most recent efforts in support of Joint Task Force Haiti and Operation Unified Response.

The U.S. Army South Commander, Maj. Gen. Simeon G. Trombitas, updated Westphal on Army South's ongoing mission as the Army Service Component Command of U.S. Southern Command while the Army South staff took the opportunity to tap into Westphal's vast knowledge of the Latin American region.

Westphal explained that Army South's area of focus, which includes Central and South America and the Caribbean, is of special interest to him since he's a native of the region.
"I was born in Latin America [Chile] and I'm very proud of my Hispanic heritage," said Westphal.
Trombitas explained to Westphal that he wanted to walk him through the Army South headquarters in order to "see our Army South Soldiers and Civilians who are making things happen."

During the visit, Westphal personally met with members of the Army South team who were hard at work in support of the global effort to assist the people of Haiti as well as the many other ongoing Army South missions throughout the AOF.

"You had such a tremendous response in providing support to Haiti so quickly," said Westphal to the Army South staff. "I want to thank you for all you do and to let you know that I'm here to help you in any way to support your mission."

Westphal's stop at the U.S. Army South headquarters was part of a two-day visit to Fort Sam Houston where he toured the Warrior Family Support Center, Center for the Intrepid, Burn Center, U.S. Army Medcal Department Center and School, Department of Combat Medic Training and U.S. Army North. He also had dinner with Wounded Warriors and spent face-time with Maj. Gen. Russell Czerw, Fort Sam Houston commander, and Col. Mary Garr, Fort Sam Houston Garrison commander.