Dozens of exercises, four countries, and a busy and proactive summer just about summarize Resolute Sentinel 22. The exercises began in Guatemala in March 2022, moved to Honduras and El Salvador, and will end in Belize in August, providing joint training and improving readiness of United States and partner nations’ civil engineers, medical professionals, and support personnel through humanitarian assistance activities.
“We need to increase our level of training and the best way to do that is through our allies like the United States,” said Salvadoran Army Major Carlos Díaz, head of the medical division at the Central Military Hospital in San Salvador. “We recognize the U.S. doctors, medics, and nurses have a lot of experiences. We arranged some exchanges in trauma, doing rounds and learning from them and also to see how to use our resources.”
Resolute Sentinel is a new U.S. Air Forces Southern/12th Air Force-led U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) exercise that was first held in 2021. It evolved out of the longstanding New Horizons and Beyond the Horizons annual joint humanitarian assistance exercises in Latin America and the Caribbean.
“The importance of this large-scale global exercise cannot be over emphasized,” said U.S. Air Force Colonel Kirk Stahlbaum, the commander of the Joint Task Force overseeing Resolute Sentinel 22. “Our efforts to date will enhance education, health, and sanitation for thousands of Central Americans, as well as bolster their military and security forces and their ability to operate with United States partner forces in the years to come.”
Experience in country
Guatemala: U.S. personnel began arriving on March 8 and started off withschool constructions. In June, troopsprovided support to U.S. Army Special Operations Forces and Guatemalan Special Operations Forces parachute operations in Puerto San José. U.S. military doctors, dentists, and veterinarians were also in Melchor de Mencos, San Benito, Flores, San Andes, Puerto San José between May and August. Air Force REDHORSE and Army engineers built two schools, one in El Remante and one in Paxcaman and a clinic in Ixlu that will improve the quality of life for the citizens in those locations.
Honduras: U.S. personnel began arriving on May 1. U.S. Air Force military engineers worked side-by-side with Hondurans to build two wells, one in Orocuina and one in Guayabo. A Personnel Recovery training exercise with the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Embassy Force Protection detachment, SOUTHCOM, and Honduran military police forces was conducted in Choluteca, Tegucigalpa, and Palmerola.
A C-130 Hercules of the U.S. Air Force Reserve Component conducted Aeromedical Evacuation training alongside the Honduran military and civilian medical evacuation teams in La Ceiba in June. The U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, and Honduran military forcescarried out Command and Control Expeditionary and Search and Rescue training in La Ceiba, in July. U.S. Army UH-60L Black Hawk helicopters participated alongside Honduran UH-1H Huey helicopters.
U.S. military doctors worked alongside Honduran medical professionals providing emergency medicine as part of an Embedded Health Engagement Team and conducted a Medical Evacuation training exercise in La Ceiba. In addition, a urologic surgery provided essential surgeries to pre-selected Honduran patients, free of charge in La Ceiba.
El Salvador: U.S. personnel began arriving on June 5. U.S. military doctors and Salvadoran medical professionals provided emergency medicine and conducted a three-day medical evacuation training exercise with the Salvadoran military.
Nonprofit organizations donated medical supplies to La Unión National General Hospital using the Denton Humanitarian Assistance Program, a U.S. Department of Defense transportation program that moves humanitarian cargo donated by U.S. based nongovernmental organizations.
“It was interesting to see how everyone operates and trains the same from a coalition standpoint,” said U.S. Air Force Captain Zachary Underwood, 815th AS pilot, while participating in the exercise in Guatemala. “Plus it was a great experience for the squadrons to get out and train in a different country and in a different environment.”
Resolute Sentinel will arrive in Belize the fourth week of August.