FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas, Oct. 31, 2011 -- U.S. Army South, as the Army's executive agent, are conducting bilateral staff talks with the Chilean army from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2 to strengthen professional partnerships and increase interaction between armies.

The U.S. Army has engaged in annual bilateral staff talks with Chile since 2006. Army South, the Army service component command for U.S. Southern Command, conducts these staff talks on behalf of the chief of staff of the Army.

The staff talks have been instrumental in enhancing the interoperability and cooperation between the two armies, officials said, adding this contributes to increased security and stability in the region.

During the staff talks leaders from both armies discuss mutual concerns and issues. The staff talks end with the signing of a bilateral engagement plan for the upcoming year to conduct various activities with each other's army.

Last year the staff talks were held in Santiago, Chile, where Maj. Gen. Alejandro Arancibia, Chilean army international relations director, hosted Maj. Gen. Simeon G. Trombitas, U.S. Army South commanding general. This year Trombitas will host Arancibia and his staff at Army South's headquarters on Fort Sam Houston.

"The U.S. and Chilean armies have worked together in an enduring relationship for many years," said Trombitas. "This year we seek to advance our partnership beyond the high level of cooperation we already enjoy."

Army South also conducts staff talks with the armies of Brazil, Colombia and El Salvador on behalf of the chief of staff of the Army.