By Mr. Robert Ramon (ARSOUTH)November 9, 2010
A wide variety of audiences learned about U.S. Army South's mission during the 2010 Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting and Exposition at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington D.C., Oct. 25-27. While visiting the U.S. Army South display at the convention, many were surprised to learn how closely Army South works with foreign partner-nation armies in the Caribbean and Latin America. As the Army Service Component Command of U.S. Southern Command, Army South conducts operations and theater security cooperation to detect, deter and disrupt transnational threats in order to protect the United States and to enhance hemispheric security. "Army South has a unique mission and unique challenges of which much of the Army is not aware," said Col. Bryan Foy, Army South deputy commander of operations. "This is an opportunity to interface with them and to explain what we do." U.S. Army South relied heavily on its three foreign liaison officers who played key roles at the Army South booth to effectively convey to visitors that much of its strength is drawn from effective partnerships with armies in an area of focus that includes Central and South America and the Caribbean. Rather than simply hearing about Army South's partnerships with partner-nation armies, visitors at the booth were able to experience it firsthand. "One thing that is very important to the success of our mission is partnering with other nations within our area of operations," said Foy. "To emphasize the importance of that mission we've brought with us three of our foreign liaison officers from Brazil, Chile and Colombia." The responsibilities of Army South foreign liaison officers include coordinating a wide range of activities between U.S. Army South and their respective armies. These activities include joint and tactical exercises that include partner-nation armies and regional initiatives such as the Conference of American Armies, an organization that seeks to promote the exchange of ideas and experiences related to matters of common interest and an increase in cooperation and integration between Armies. "This exposition is a great opportunity to show other members of the U.S. Army how we are working together in order to strengthen the relationship between our countries," said Brazilian Army Col. Valerio Luiz Lange, an Army South FLO. "It has been a good opportunity to share with everyone here our perspective about the common interests that we have." Chilean Army Col. Luis Chamorro explained to visitors the importance of his role as an Army South FLO. "I'm very proud to be a part of this team," said Chamorro. "We are working together to achieve common goals and to increase the capabilities of both armies. Being here at the AUSA exposition gives us a chance to show other members of the U.S. Army what we are doing and to show how strong the relationship is between the U.S. Army and the Chilean Army." The Army South booth maintained a steady flow of traffic during the three-day exposition. Thanks to the foreign liaison officers, hundreds of visitors learned how Army South's operations directly contribute to the security and stability in Latin America and the Caribbean as they assist, enhance and build closer relationships with partner nations.