U.S. Army South kicked-off Operation Alamo Shield pre-deployment training conference February 23 at their headquarters to prepare 1st Security Forces Assistance Brigade (1st SFAB) personnel for future missions in Colombia, Honduras, and Panama.
The 1st SFAB deployments are in support of U.S. Southern Command’s enhanced counternarcotics operations, which President Trump announced April 1, 2020.
Major General Daniel R. Walrath, U.S. Army South commanding general, provided opening remarks and said this is the first of hopefully many pre-deployment training conferences to support the 1st SFAB deployment cycles.
“The idea is to share information to minimize gaps involved with rotating deployments and maintain momentum by establishing a common understanding across all stakeholders in this mission,” said Maj. Gen. Walrath.
The conference is a result of recommendations that came from SFAB leaders returning from the first iteration of SFAB deployment in Colombia.
“We asked the leadership, ‘what can we do better to prepare the teams?’ And this conference is in part due to their recommendations,” said Maj. Gen. Walrath.
During the three-day conference, attendees will take part in country overview briefings and in discussions with U.S. ambassadors to gain more insight on mission requirements prior to deploying to each country.
“The idea also came from some of my own experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan. Prior to each deployment, all of the mission stakeholders would come together to discuss how the mission sets evolved over time, which better prepared us for the deployments,” said Maj. Gen. Walrath.
The 1st SFAB is an elite U.S. Army unit specifically trained to advise and assist partner nation countries. The presence of the SFAB in Colombia, Honduras, and Panama directly aligns with U.S. Army South priorities to counter threats alongside partner nations to defend our way of life.