Peacekeeping Operations - Americas Exercise 2012

Wednesday May 2, 2012

What is it?

Peacekeeping Operations - Americas (PKO-A) is the Army's primary peacekeeping training event in Central and South America and the Caribbean. This year Chile, working closely with U.S. Army South, is hosting the exercise which focuses on training and improving coordination with government and non-government organizations and multinational and joint forces during peacekeeping operations.

As the Army component for U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), U.S. Army South trains for and supports peacekeeping operations efforts. PKO-A is the primary vehicle to develop and enhance training capabilities, while working with other countries. This exercise supports the goal of the U.S. Department of State's Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI) and the U.N. by supporting nations in SOUTHCOM's area of responsibility with resources to train and develop forces for peacekeeping missions around the world.

The overall objective of PKO-A is to promote peace and stability throughout Central and South America through mutual understanding, partnership and cooperation. Including the United States and Chile there are 17 countries scheduled to take part in PKO-A: Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Ecuador, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay.

What has the Army done?

U.S. Army South has participated in this annual event for more than two decades, promoting security cooperation throughout the region, supporting the development of rule of law based security activities and promoting human rights. As a leading participant, U.S. Army South provides essential resources ensuring the exercise successfully prepares the participants for peacekeeping operations in the region and world-wide.

PKO-A exercise has been instrumental in strengthening professional relationships and collaboration between the respective militaries. This past year Army South working with GPOI and host nation forces assisted in building two Military Operations on Urban Terrain (MOUT) sites in Chile and the Dominican Republic for nations in the SOUTHCOM area of responsibilty to train for peacekeeping operations.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

U.S. Army South will continue to work with partner armies in Central and South America and the Caribbean by conducting multinational exercises like PKO-A that promote the rule of law and human rights.

Why is this important for the Army?

This exercise supports the Army's goal of building nation capacity and strengthening relationships with partner nation forces. This helps shape the environment and develops a framework for collaborative solutions to complex issues that affect every country in the western hemisphere.


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Senior Leaders are Saying

"This exercise [Peacekeeping Operations " Americas Exercise 2012] offers U.S. Army South the opportunity to work with our multi-national partners in an exercise that not only trains participants in the important role of maintaining stability and security, but also reiterates the importance of having a highly trained and deployable force able to integrate with other military and civilian peacekeepers around the world."

-Maj. Gen. Simeon G. Trombitas, Commanding General, U.S. Army South

Participants from 17 nations finalize plans for Peacekeeping Operations-Americas 2012 exercise

What They're Saying

"Seeing my guys down motivated me and the rest of my platoon to do what we needed to do to get everyone [home] safe … It was a group effort to bring everybody home safely. It was just another day."

- Sgt. M. Joshua Laughery, humbly credits his act of bravery to his fellow Soldiers, during a Silver Star ceremony, on May 1, at Fort Polk, La., where Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno pinned him with the Silver Star, the third highest award for valor in combat.

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