SOUTHCOM honors, bids farewell to Peruvian Liaison Officer
By Dialogo December 20, 2013
Peruvian Army Colonel Carlos O. Rios was honored on December 19 by SOUTHCOM
Commander, Marine General John F. Kelly, with the Joint Service Commendation Medal
for his contributions to the United States Southern Command community during his
tenure as Partner Nation Liaison Officer for Peru, from February 2012 – February
Gen. Kelly congratulated Col. Rios for his “very successful tour” in Miami,
and highlighted the importance of his leadership and devotion to duty as
“instrumental” to strategic-level meetings in Peru and the United States during
visits from the Peruvian Secretary of Defense, the Peruvian Ambassador to the United
States and the Joint Chief of the Peruvian Armed Forces, among other achievements.
“His Partner Nation insight contributed to different viewpoints, allowing for
better understanding among partners,” read the award.
But the Commander also reflected on the fact that it was an opportunity to
say goodbye to good friends and wish them well in their next assignments. “We
especially want to congratulate Col. Rios on his selection for promotion to
Brigadier General of the Peruvian Army,” he said.
For his part, the colonel, who was accompanied by his wife, his baby daughter
and his mother –who traveled from Peru to attend the ceremony– expressed his thanks
to the entire SOUTHCOM staff, but specifically to Gen. Kelly; U.S. Air Force Major
General and SOUTHCOM Chief of Staff Mark C. Rowland; his colleagues, the Partner
Nation Liaison Officers for Chile, Brazil, Colombia and Canada; and his family.
“I would like to express my deep and sincere gratitude to you and all your
staff for the hospitality and all your support provided to me, my country and my
family during my time in this important command,” he said.
Col. Rios recounted some of the memories he takes back, which include the
excellent professional teamwork shown in achieving common goals,
SOUTHCOM’s extraordinary solidarity and support, and the rich and positive
relationships built with members of different sections within and out of the
Command. SOUTHCOM’s Partner Nation Liaison Program was set up in 1998, with the
focus of establishing links with United States’ partner nations in Central and South
America and the Caribbean as a conduit to foster a better understanding of missions
and tactics, facilitate the ability to integrate and synchronize operations, assist
in the transfer of vital information, enhance mutual trust, and develop an increased
level of teamwork