Friday July 20, 2012
What is it?
U.S. Army South, the Army service component command for U.S. Southern Command, conducts Subject Matter Expert Exchanges (SMEE) and Professional Development Exchanges (PDE) with partner nation armies throughout its area of responsibility (AOR) in Central and South America and the Caribbean to strengthen relationships, support theater security cooperation and build partner nation capacity.
During the exchanges, the U.S. Army and partner nation armies share knowledge to become more efficient in a variety of areas including medical, engineering, logistics, physical security, weapons maintenance, and vehicle and boat maintenance. These exchanges offer partner nation armies and their U.S. counterparts unparalleled training opportunities.
What has the Army done?
During 2012, under the strategic guidance of SOUTHCOM, Army South conducted SMEEs and PDEs with partner nation armies from Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica and Peru.
This year, Army South conducted PDEs with the Guatemalan army focused on improving Guatemalan military forces supply and engineer operations, improving logistics and exchanging best practices ideas with Guatemalan forces in the areas of physical security, weapons maintenance, and vehicle and boat maintenance. Army South also conducted medical training with the Belize Defense Force and Belize Coast Guard Service, an aviation maintenance SMEE with Peru, a boat, weapon and vehicle maintenance PDE with the Jamaica Defense Force and separate civil military relations PDEs with El Salvador and Honduras.
The next scheduled PDE takes place between the New Hampshire Army National Guard, under the State Partnership program, working with Army South and El Salvador personnel July 19 - Aug. 4 in Concord, N.H., where the focus is on disaster response command and control.
What efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
U.S. Army South will continue ongoing execution of SMEEs and PDEs with partner nation armies throughout the AOR. This will ensure the U.S. Army continues to strengthen its relationship with partner nation armies, allowing the opportunity for all attendees to develop knowledge, capabilities and support for lasting security and stability.
Why is this important to the Army?
The U.S. Army's capabilities in the region are greatly influenced by the partnerships forged with partner nation armies. Strengthening the relationship with partner nation armies through these exchanges will have lasting effects on the peace and stability of the region.
With the stability and security of the U.S. and partner nations dependent upon our ability to work together to detect, deter and disrupt common security challenges, conducting exchanges with partner nations ensures the Army's regional partners are ready and able to meet potential threats. These opportunities help shape the environment and build partner nation capacity.
U.S. Army South
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Guatemala, U.S. armies strengthen partnership
Army South subject matter experts brave jungle environment, work with Belize Defense Force
Army South, Belize Defence Force conduct combat medic engagement
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"We want open, transparent relationships with all nations for continued peace and security. Many countries here today have fought with us ... I look forward to an even brighter future built around strengthening ties with our long-time allies and closer relationships with potential partners in the pursuit of our shared interests and lasting regional stability and peace."
-Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Ray Odierno, emphasizing to military leaders at the 36th Pacific Armies Management Seminar, that the United States Army has a long history in the Pacific and its focus will be to bolster ongoing relationships between America's Army and the armies of nations in the Asian and Pacific regions
"The challenge right now is that when you bring in those complex curvatures, the plate loses some of its strength. We're working with some armor manufacturers to invest in a manufacturing capability that finds the right chemistry to develop the soft and hard armor necessary to have a complex curved plate at a light weight that still defeats the threats."
- Lt. Col. Frank J. Lozano, product manager for Soldier Protective Equipment, highlights the Army's initiative to develop armor plating that better conforms to the female form, to better equip the 14 percent of female Soldiers in the U.S. Army.
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