Chilean Lieutenant Colonel Joins Military Exercise at Fort Bragg

By Dialogo
July 02, 2015

Excellent work, this should be the army's function during peacetime. Saving the new generations and making the future more human.

Chilean Army Lieutenant Colonel Carlos Parra Meier recently took part in the multi-national Combined Joint Operational Access Exercise 15-01 (CJOAX 15-01), a training operation designed to enhance co-operation and inter-operability among its participants.

The exercise, held April 10-21, was the largest U.S.-U.K. bilateral airborne training operation at Fort Bragg in the past 20 years; it featured Paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division's (82 ABN DIV) – 2nd Brigade Combat Team and about 900 Paratroopers from the United Kingdom's 3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, 16 Air Assault Brigade.

A large airborne operation

The CJOAX 15-01 began with a warning and strategic deployment from the nearby Pope Field Air Force base in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Participating Troops performed a Forcible Entry Joint Operation that night, followed by seven days of tactical exercises.

Lt. Col. Parra joined in the airborne assault on April 13, and thereafter served in the command post of the Task Force on the Future Operations Department, deployed by the 82 ABN DIV - 2nd Brigade Combat Team and Regiment 3, where he worked with British and U.S. officers.

“More than 2,100 American and British paratroopers jumped into Fort Bragg, North Carolina, on April 13 for the start of a massive exercise,” the fort's press office reported. They leaped from American C-17s and C-130s as well as Royal Air Force aircraft before moving to seize an airfield, evacuating non-combatants, and executing offensive and defensive operations.

Marines from the 2nd Marine Division at nearby Camp Lejeune, meanwhile, participated in the exercise April 12-17.

Exercises promote inter-operability

In addition to general training, the exercises also promoted inter-operability; they gave participants the opportunity to learn about each others' equipment, tactics, and standard operating procedures, according to Lt. Col. Mike Shervington, commander of 3 Para, a Global Response Force U.S./ Military unit, the Army Times

These exercises were “quite beneficial, in this case not only to Lt. Col. Parra, who won a real international experience in his field," but also to Chile in general, said David Rozowski, a security analyst and CEO of Citizen Security Foundation in Chile.

“This Chilean participation in a major military exercise on U.S. soil summarizes all the work of collaboration and cooperation among the two nations. Today, more than ever, strengthening ties and gaining experiences are as vital for a country as it is to have well-trained Army officers in multiple disciplines.”

“Chile and the United States are creating a common vision of security issues in the hemisphere, and this exercise is part of that vision,” said Miguel Navarro, a researcher at the National Academy of Political and Strategic Studies (ANEPE) of Chile. “It's important for Chile to have interoperability with NATO forces in order to have a more active participation in international operations.”

The Chilean Army reported that it “continues to position itself with an international presence, in order to enhance its combat capability and working staff for the benefit of multinational interoperability.”

Chile and U.S. also cooperate in PANAMAX

The exercise at Fort Bragg is not the first time Chile and the United States have cooperated on a Military exercise.

Since 2003, the Armed Forces of the two countries have participated in PANAMAX, sponsored by the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM). This exercise involves the operational deployment of forces to protect the Panama Canal and the Central American region. Originally proposed by Chile, PANAMAX was launched as the result of coordinated efforts between Chile, Panama, and the United States, and has grown significantly since it began.

In 2014, Military personnel and integrated staff members from Brazil, Belize, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, France, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and the United States participated in PANAMAX, which also featured cooperation from the United Nations and Conference of Central American Armies.

Also, Cadets from the Chilean Military School participated in the 49th annual Sandhurst Military Skills Competition at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in April. The Chilean team won fifth place overall in the competition.