By Robert Ramon, ARSOUTHSeptember 8, 2011
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas, Sept. 8, 2011 -- More than 41 students from the Colombian Army, Navy and Air Force participated in the visit that highlighted Army South's major exercises and operations as well as specific aspects of its mission that are important to Colombia.
Maj. Gen. Simeon G. Trombitas, U.S. Army South commanding general, welcomed the students at his headquarters just before Robert L. Pelegreen, Army South Security Cooperation Division deputy director, conducted a command overview briefing.
"This is a significant command-sponsored relationship engagement," said Pelegreen. "We've had a long-standing relationship with the Colombians and we want to continue fostering a good relationship with them as a partner nation."
During their visit, the students toured Army South's operations center, where they received a briefing on current operations, and the 470th Military Intelligence Brigade headquarters, an Army South supporting unit.
U.S. Army South knows well the benefits of these types of engagements with partner nation militaries.
"It's important to get that exchange of information," said Maj. Carlos I. Martinez, Army South Andean Ridge desk officer. "Although the visit only lasts a short time, it's very constructive not only to their development as war college students, but to the strengthening of our relationships."
Prior to visiting Army South, Martinez said the Colombian students also visited Fort Hood, Texas, and Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.
The visit to Army South was well received according to the Colombian students.
"Their headquarters facilities are amazing," said Colombian Air Force Maj. Alexander Celis, a Colombian War College student. "We conduct many joint operations with Army South so it's very important for us to be here and see first hand what it is that they do here. The support of the U.S. Army is very important to us and although they are from another country, these are our brothers."