Honduras, U.S. discuss transnational organized crime in Tegucigalpa
By Dialogo September 08, 2014
During a meeting representatives from the Honduran and United States governments discussed two main topics: training in the fight against transnational organized crime and the recent operations of humanitarian assistance in Honduras.
The meeting took place August 14th while the U. S. Secretary of the Army John McHugh visited Honduras. In Tegucigalpa, the country’s capital, Mr. McHugh met with Honduran Minister of Defense, Samuel Armando Reyes Rendon; Honduran Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, Major General Fredy Santiago Diaz Zelaya; the General Commander of the Armed Forces, Brigadier General Francisco Isaias Alvarez Urbina, and the new U. S. Ambassador for Honduras, James Nealon.
In Honduras a new and revolutionary information sharing platform is being tested, the Cooperative Situational Information Integration (CSII) system, an application that is being developed by the U. S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM). “In regards to information sharing, Honduras is making an effort to have technological equipment that will allow us to improve surveillance over our airspace in order to then generate information that will be processed and shared with the proper recipients, including all the relevant and accurate information with SOUTHCOM to then become capable of countering transnational organized crime,” Major General Fredy Zelaya said in an interview with Diálogo during the IX Central American Security Conference (CENTSEC) 2014, held the first week of April in Guatemala City.
The U. S. Army’s top leader’s trip to Honduras is a follow-up to Mr. Juan Orlando Hernández’s visit to Miami, Florida, where the Honduran President held meetings with SOUTHCOM Commander, U. S. Marine Corps General John F. Kelly.
On August 13, Mr. John McHugh paid a visit to the Joint Task Force-Bravo, in Soto Cano, where he was greeted by COL Kirk Dorr, JTF-B Commander; COL Rollin Miller, Army Support Activity Commander; and JTF-B Command Sergeant Major Nelson Callahan. “I can’t stress enough the importance of the contributions to the security of the region that Joint Task Force-Bravo has made,” McHugh told the Task Force members. “Your commitment to building and sustaining partnerships with the Central American nations will help strengthen their security capacity, disrupt transnational organized crime and improve citizen security which is the foundation for stable, prosperous and democratic societies,” he added.
McHugh also said it was vital that service members of Joint Task Force-Bravo know that their hard work does not go unnoticed. “We’re deeply appreciative for what you do on a day-to-day basis in Central America. The work that you are doing is important, in fact invaluable, to the future growth and stability of this region.”
Soto Cano Air Base (commonly known as Palmerola Air Base) is a Honduran military Air Force Base located south of Comayagua in Honduras. It houses between 500-600 U. S. troops and is also used by the Honduran Air Force Academy. The airbase became operational in 1981, changing Toncontin, Tegucigalpa, the old location of the Honduras Air Force Academy, to Palmerola. Their mission is to conduct and support joint operations, actions, and activities throughout the joint operations area maintaining a forward presence in order to enhance regional security, stability, and cooperation.
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