Brazilian and US Marines Engage in Joint Training Exercise, Solidify Relationships
By Dialogo October 12, 2011
After six weeks of joint training exercises in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the first Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) exercise between the 3rd U.S. Marine and Special Operations Command Battalion (USMARSOC) and the Brazilian Marine Corps’ elite Fuzileiros Navais concluded in late September.
Lieutenant Colonel Jon Duke, Commander of the 3rd Marine and Special Operations Battalion explained that the JCET team has been preparing to increase their engagements with the Brazilian Marine Corps since 2010 with the purpose of deepening their relationship with their Brazilian counterparts.
“Due to Brazil’s increasing role as a global power and important U.S. partner, the USMARSOC JCET team prepared, for this exercise for 18 months,” said LtCol Duke. The military-to-military engagement with the Brazilian Fuzileiros Navais focused on the exchange of tactics procedures including direct action and special reconnaissance tactics such as close-quarters battle skills.
For his part, Colonel Fernando Jose Afonso Ferreira de Sousa, commander of the Toneleros, the special operations battalion within the Brazilian Fuzileiros Navais, stated, “The exchange between the units was important to learn from the experiences of each other.”
Some of the highlights included seeing the different types of terrain that Brazilian Fuzileiros train and operate in, because the participating U.S. Marines were used to operating in the Middle East. “An overall lesson we all took back is that Marines are Marines all around the world,” stated LtCol Duke.
Among others, the participants also trained in specific marksmanship skills, including sniper skills that are beneficial to both sides.
“We were very impressed with the Fuzileiros’ professionalism and experience in reconnaissance skills,” said LtCol Duke when discussing the lessons the U.S. Marines took from their Brazilian counterparts. “The Brazilian culture is so rich, it was an impressive aspect of the overall experience, too,” he added.
But in working together, the U.S. also left behind important lessons for the Brazilians. The integration of intelligence and operations at the team level and the integration of intelligence at a very tactical level were important aspects of the joint training that the U.S. Marines showed their Brazilian partners.
“The MARSOC team provided the highest quality personnel, training, and capabilities, and developed a lasting camaraderie with the Toneleros”, added Col. Ferreira de Sousa.
During the six weeks of training, the participants of both countries built solid relationships that will pave the way ahead for future engagements.