SOTO CANO AIR FORCE BASE, Honduras, July 25, 2011 -- The Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal began his visit to Central and South America yesterday visiting with servicemembers assigned to Joint Task Force Bravo, Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras.

Westphal spent the day touring Joint Task Force Bravo, or JTF-B, facilities and meeting with servicemembers. He received briefings on the mission and capabilities of JTF-B and Army units stationed at JTF-B. Westphal also viewed new and ongoing construction at the base and received information on Fiscal Year 2012 construction projects.

As Westphal visited with JTF-B servicemembers he asked what he could do to help them and asked what they thought about the mission of JTF-B. He explained that his role as the under secretary and chief management officer of the Army was to ensure that they were prepared and equipped to do their mission.

“I am the chief management officer of the Army,” said Westphal. “As such, all of the business operations, all of the functions of the Army to train, equip and deploy Soldiers to the combatant commanders is the job that I do.”

Westphal asked servicemembers if the equipment and facilities they had allowed them to do their mission effectively and if not, what did they need to ensure mission success.

Westphal's stop at JTF-B was just the beginning of a week-long visit to the region. In addition to visiting Soldiers and seeing firsthand the work the Army is doing in the region to enhance hemispheric security and stability, Westphal will also visit with ambassadors and key partner nation military leaders in each country he visits.