Friday April 24, 2009
What is it?
Joint Task Force-Bravo (JTF-B) is made up of U.S. Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and civilians who work to enhance theater-wide operational security and reinforce regional cooperation in Central America. These men and women conduct joint, combined and interagency operations to achieve those goals. The JTF supports Latin American armed forces as they develop roles and missions for a 21st century military. At the request of a partner nation and the direction of U.S. Southern Command, the task force provides humanitarian assistance and disaster response throughout the region.
What has the Army done?
JTF-Bravo responds to natural disasters to provide medical care and evacuation in order to save lives. After flooding in Panama and Costa Rica in November, JTF-Bravo rescued 17 people and delivered 314,000 pounds of supplies on 95 missions. In January, the task force deployed to Costa Rica to aid earthquake victims evacuating 90 people and transporting 154 rescue workers. The JTF provides medical care through medical readiness training exercises or MEDRETEs throughout Central America. The task force also conducts subject matter expert exchanges with Honduran military, police and fire agencies.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The JTF-Bravo team has plans to increase its MEDRETE capabilities, further develop its humanitarian partnerships, and continue its interagency cooperation. Specifically, the team plans to treat at least 400 patients locally and 10,000 patients regionally through MEDRETEs. To date, MEDRETEs are planned in Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Costa Rica this year. The commander plans to host a regional Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response conference to build synergy between partner nation and JTF-Bravo first responders. Subject matter expert exchanges are planned between U.S. and Honduran fire departments and military agencies focusing on fire suppression, land navigation, security and life-saving skills.
Why is it important to the Army?
Joint Task Force-Bravo works hard to build cooperation among Central American countries in order to reduce regional tensions and build confidence between neighbors. That's important, not only to the Army, but to the U.S. as a whole. Cooperative, regional security ensures stability for all Americans.
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"Joint Task Force-Bravo is committed to providing assistance to our neighbors when we're needed. These are the people we live and work with every day, so it's good to know we can count on each other whenever a situation arises."
- Col. Rich Juergens, Commander, Joint Task Force-Bravo
"I learned after my injury that I have to take every day as it comes. I try to look at everything as a challenge. Most things I've done since I have been injured (have) been challenging, but I don't know if I would have taken (this opportunity) if I hadn't gotten injured."
- Former Staff Sgt. Johnathan Holsey, the first amputee to enter the Warrant Officer Candidate program
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