Partnership of the Americas 2011 Provides Forum Communication

By Dialogo
June 27, 2011

United States Marine Forces, South (MARFOR SOUTH) hosted the sixth annual Partnership of the Americas 2011 exercise (POA-11), from June 12-19, in Miami.

Military officials from nine different countries, including Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, the United States and Uruguay, gathered in a learning environment to discuss the planning and execution of amphibious operations, peace-support operations and humanitarian assistance missions.

“The main goal is to exchange ideas with partner nations in order to develop a better understanding of joint amphibious operations, specifically in operations other than war, and also to promote regional stability, security and interoperability,” said Lt. Col. Anthony Perez, coordinator of the POA-11 exercise, MARFOR SOUTH.

Col. Michael Ramos, Chief of Staff, MARFOR SOUTH, added that the exercise was designed to share U.S. Marine Corps amphibious operations doctrine and offer an opportunity for partners to discuss their doctrines and experiences.

Throughout the exercise, different subject matter experts from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and other nations spoke to the participants about planning processes, command and control considerations, joint amphibious doctrine, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, peace enforcement operations and non-governmental organization coordination.

“We structured the day so that participants were provided with a class in the morning followed by a subject matter expert and an exercise scenario intelligence brief,” said Perez. “This way, when we present them with [an exercise operational scenario] they can apply what they’ve learned while it’s still fresh in their minds.”

The practical application of the day’s lessons afforded each partner nation an opportunity to apply the planning process while interacting with each other in a Multinational Operational Planning team (OPT) to form a comprehensive, multi-national solution to the exercise scenario.

As POA-11 drew to a close, military officials from each nation left with a better understanding of joint amphibious operations and having strengthened bonds with their North and South American counterparts.

“I think the exercise developed very well,” said Cdr. Elio Piana, from the Peruvian Marine Corps.

The Partnership of Americas 2011 exercise proved that a difference in language and culture cannot stop a force from accomplishing its mission.