Representatives from U.S. Army South traveled to Tegucigalpa, Honduras, to lead a Central American Working Group (CENTAM WG) meeting during a three-day event held from September 7-9, 2022.
The CENTAM WG includes armies from three Latin American nations: El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. The event marked the third time all participating nations gathered to continue coordinating efforts for 2023 and proposing future events for 2024 through 2027.
Honduran General Jose Luis Sauceda Sierra, commander of Joint Doctrine and Military Education, welcomed all participating nations to the country and emphasized the importance of working together to increase capabilities.
“With this we become more efficient and perform better in all of the exercises, this way we would have better results allowing us to improve our capabilities to support our force and improve their professionalism,” said Gen. Sauceda Sierra.
Lieutenant Colonel Miguel A. Gonzalez, International Military Affairs chief for Army South Security and Cooperation Division (SCD) and the head of the delegation for the U.S. Army, thanked Honduras for their hospitality and highlighted the importance of the meeting.
“The purpose of the CENTAM working group is to strengthen the bilateral and multilateral relationship and develop capabilities of mutual interest to counter the proliferation of threat networks and respond to crises that threaten regional stability,” said Lt. Col. Gonzalez.
After introductions, each army provided a brief overview of their operations and explained challenges they have faced during the previous year. In addition to the overviews, the working group discussed lessons learned from CENTAM Guardian 22 to help with the success of CENTAM Guardian 2023.
CENTAM Guardian is a multinational exercise designed to increase rapid response, security operations and strengthen hemispheric cooperation and collaboration, explained Marco V. Rosito, CENTAM desk officer in SCD for Army South.
“We realize there are common issues affecting the region and if we address them together we would be more effective than addressing them as individual countries,” said Rosito.
The three-day working group closed with proposals, objectives, and activities for support from now until 2027, and finished with the signing of the minutes signaling the commitment for the armies to continue cooperating.
“Through this event we support and cooperate with our regional partners to improve our border security efforts,” closed Lt. Col. Gonzalez.
The next CENTAM WG meeting is the gathering of principals where they will review and approve the staff work and activities coordinated for the next year.