U.S. Army Supports New Guatemalan Inter-Agency Task Force

Friday July 5, 2013

What is it?

U.S. Army South directly supports U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) efforts to work closely with U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) in monitoring the tri-border area between Mexico's southern border, Belize and Guatemala -- a key illicit trafficking region.

U.S. Army South and Army National Guard Soldiers from Texas, U.S. Border Service and Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation personnel have assisted in the individual and collective training of the Guatemalan Interagency Task Force (IATF) Tecun Uman. This IATF is a new battalion-sized task force comprised of Guatemalan Army soldiers, National Police, and Ministry of Justice officials capable of deploying throughout Guatemala to provide civil security and control at the discretion of the Guatemalan Ministry of Governance.

This task force will conduct security operations throughout Guatemala via patrols, checkpoints, control of border points of entry, enforcement of judicial resolutions, and enforcement of legal orders. The goal of the IATF is to interdict and disrupt threats to internal and external stability while strengthening State's presence as required.

What has the Army done?

ITAF personnel received training on command and control, security, reconnaissance and checkpoint operations, as well as cordon and search techniques, implementation of a quick reaction force, and coordination between police and judicial authorities.

What efforts does the Army have in the future?

The capstone training event concluded on June 26. The IATF Tecun Uman personnel are now qualified as a fully-operational intra-Guatemala security unit. Army South has plans to continue to support IATF training with scheduled combat medic subject-matter expert exchanges and Human Rights Awareness training in the near future.

Why is this important to the Army?

As the Army component command for U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), Army South directly supports SOUTHCOM's efforts to work directly with U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) to synchronize Department of Defense operations in the Western Hemisphere and coordinate the employment of combined resources. This unique training opportunity shows how the Army assists partner nations in leader development and helping adapt to new threats/issues in the region.

The growing influence of transnational criminal organizations in Central America is a shared threat between SOUTHCOM and NORTHCOM, with regional violence and corruption increasing in both command's areas of responsibility as transnational criminal organizations increase their areas of influence.

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