Colombian Navy Boosts Tactical Land Mobility
By Julieta Pelcastre/Diálogo June 24, 2019
U.S. multi-purpose vehicles increase humanitarian and military transport capability in critical areas of Colombia.
The U.S. government presented the Colombian Navy with 12 Humvee vehicles, two of which are ambulance-type, to strengthen their humanitarian aid capabilities. The delivery was made on May 5, 2019, at the 1st Marine Corps Mobility Battalion in Malagana, Bolívar department.
“With this new acquisition, and thanks to the United States, the Navy will increase its land mobility with greater coverage and control over the area to increase the security and protection of Colombians,” Colombian Navy Vice Admiral Andrés Vásquez Villegas, commander of the Caribbean Naval Force, told Diálogo. “We estimate that the vehicles will be operational in mid-June.”
Many countries use Humvees, modified according to their specific needs, such as Argentina, Canada, Chile, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, and Peru, among others. “The Humvees are stable, strong, and versatile to accommodate new technology. They facilitate our operations, our presence,” said Vice Adm. Vásquez. “These patrols are also combat-dissuasive.”
The Mobility Battalion uses these vehicles in humanitarian aid operations in remote areas and in communities that lack water systems in Colombia, Vice Adm. Vásquez said.
The Humvees acquired a few years ago helped to distribute 14,000 gallons of drinking water to communities in Alta Guajira in February 2019. Authorities also sent amphibious landing ships to assist victims of the April 2016 earthquake in Ecuador. The off-road vehicles contribute to the defense of the country’s critical infrastructure on land.
“With the Humvees’ acquisition, Colombia and the United States strengthen their bonds of friendship and camaraderie through the Peace Colombia plan,” said Vice Adm. Vásquez. “The Peace Colombia plan helps us combat quite successfully the violence terrorist groups and narcotraffickers generate in the country.”
“U.S.-Colombian relations consist of cooperation in several areas, any time we have common goals, not fear, subordination, or complicity,” Colombian Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo told the press. “The [Colombian] government is thankful for the United States’ cooperation.”