FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (Aug. 27, 2012) -- U.S. Army South hosted students from Colombia's Command and General Staff College, at Fort Sam Houston, Aug. 21, in an effort to maintain a strong regional partnership."This visit is important because we get to know, in person, the future leaders of one of our most important partners in the region," said Maj. Mario Castro, Army South Southern Cone desk officer. "These types of personal interactions and relationship building activities facilitate our mission."
More than 38 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.
The Colombian Command and General Staff College, or CGSC, is similar to the U.S. Army CGSC whose mission is to educate and develop leaders for full spectrum joint, interagency and multinational operations. The Colombian CGSC students are required to complete the one-year course before they can be promoted to the next level.Maj. Gen. Simeon G. Trombitas, U.S. Army South commanding general, welcomed Colombian CGSC faculty member Brig. Gen. Hector J. Pachon and the students at his headquarters just before Robert L. Pelegreen, Army South Security Cooperation Division deputy director, conducted a command overview briefing.Castro said the Colombian students left a positive impression on the Army South staff during their visit."The CGSC students demonstrated a high level of professionalism and selfless service," said Castro. "They are the future leaders in their army and we look forward to working together with them in the future."During their visit the students toured Army South's headquarters where they received briefings and presentations by several staff directorates within the command.After their visit with Army South, Castro said the Colombian students planned to visit Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.The visit to Army South was well received according to the Colombian students."It's a great experience to see how they do things here," said Colombian Air Force Maj. Nestor Cortes, a Colombian CGSC student. "We want to find ways that we can better work together in the future since these are our partners and we share many common concerns."