A morning graduation ceremony on December 16, in the Marshal Mascarenhas de Moraes courtyard, at the Agulhas Negras Military Academy (AMAN, in Portuguese), in Resende, Rio de Janeiro, marked the end of Exercise CORE 21, also known in the United States as Southern Vanguard 22. For 10 days, troops of the Brazilian and U.S. armies took part in combined military training, bringing together nearly 1,000 soldiers from both countries. The joint maneuvers simulated combat in rural and urban environments, with the use of armored vehicles and helicopters. Troops also carried out live fire and target training.
During the closing ceremony, Brazilian and U.S. service members intermingled, a symbol of the strengthening ties of friendship among the troops. The Brazilian Army’s (EB, in Portuguese) 5th Light Infantry Battalion played the Brazilian and U.S. national anthems. EB Lieutenant General Edson Diehl Ripoli, commander of the 2nd Division, presided over the ceremony. EB Major General Paulo Roberto Rodrigues Pimentel, AMAN commandant; EB Major General Rodrigo Ferraz of the 12th Light Infantry Brigade (Aeromobile); U.S. Army Colonel Scott Himes, and U.S. Army Colonel Lee Overby, accompanied Lt. Gen. Diehl.
“Our troops worked very well and integrated perfectly with U.S. troops. We have some differences, which are small, but they didn’t make it impossible for us to work together. This integration showed that we can work together anywhere in the world, defending our Western values and democracy,” said Lt. Gen. Diehl.
Col. Himes, U.S. Army South deputy commander of Operations, thanked Brazilian troops for the hospitality and for sharing their knowledge with their U.S. counterparts. “Thank you for sharing what you know and for your professionalism. After these two weeks, in which we had the opportunity to promote integrated work between both forces, I thank you on behalf of U.S. Southern Command. We learned important lessons here, and we will take it back home,” Col. Himes said, before ending his speech uttering in Portuguese the EB motto: “Braço Forte, Mão Amiga [Strong Arm, Friendly Hand].”