In the Amazon Delta, Brazilian soldiers are training at the operational and tactical levels to increase interoperability alongside U.S. Army South and U.S. New York Army National Guard soldiers.
They are taking part in Southern Vanguard 24, an annual U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) exercise, which is taking place November 1-12, in Belem, Macapa, and Oiapoque.
Brazilian Army General Luciano Guilherme Cabral Pinheiro, commander of the Northern Military Command, spoke with Diálogo about the importance of the exercise for Brazil.
Diálogo: What is the main objective of Exercise Southern Vanguard 24?
Brazilian Army General Luciano Guilherme Cabral Pinheiro, commander of the Northern Military Command: The main objective of Exercise CORE 23/ Southern Vanguard 24 is to increase interoperability with the United States Army and forces from NATO member countries.
Diálogo: What is the importance of this bilateral military exercise between Brazil and the United States?
Gen. Guilherme: It increases the relationship with the United States Army and ensures that the Brazilian Army is trained to participate in international operations, in accordance with national interests and the international commitments made by Brazil.
Diálogo: How does Southern Vanguard increase interoperability levels?
Gen. Guilherme: The exercise increases interoperability by promoting the exchange of combat training and certification experiences with the U.S. Army. It also provides an understanding of the different working standards used by NATO.
Diálogo: In December 2021, more than 900 soldiers from the Brazilian Army and the U.S. Army conducted their first Southern Vanguard. What were the lessons learned?
Gen. Guilherme: The lessons learned are numerous, but I can highlight the leveling of techniques, tactics, and procedures (TTP) at all echelons employed in the exercise (Brigade, Battalion, Company, and Platoon), cooperating for the combined employment of troops.
Diálogo: What is the added value of taking part in Southern Vanguard?
Gen. Guilherme: Taking part in a combined exercise with the U.S. Army, one of the most advanced in the world, contributes to updating Military Doctrine, improves information management, and enhances the Logistics and Education and Culture systems, with repercussions for the Brazilian Army’s transformation process.
Diálogo: What’s new in Southern Vanguard 24?
Gen. Guilherme: In Exercise CORE 23/ Southern Vanguard 24, the biggest novelty is the operational environment, which is characterized by having specific groups that must be taken into account, such as the predominant presence of indigenous groups. In addition, the Amazonian operational environment has large demographic voids.
In the information dimension, attention should be paid to the precariousness of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) structure, which makes it difficult to transmit, access, and share information, especially in inland towns and riverside communities.
With regard to the physical dimension, the Amazonian operational environment is characterized by large areas of uninhabited jungle, where river transport predominates, with small riverside towns along the rivers, a shortage of land routes and long distances for air transport.
In this sense, successful operations in a jungle environment require timely and effective decisions, made on the basis of accurate judgment of the knowledge and information available.
Diálogo: How important is it for Brazil to host Southern Vanguard?
Gen. Guilherme: For Brazil, military diplomacy is a crucial tool for conflict prevention and for building a more secure and stable international community. In this context, hosting international exercises such as CORE 23/ Southern Vanguard 24 demonstrates its capacity for cooperation, which strengthens Brazil’s military diplomacy and the promotion of mutual trust between the armed forces of different nations.
Diálogo: How did the Brazilian Army prepare for this exercise?
Gen. Guilherme: The general preparation cycle for the exercise includes the mobilization phases, with the definition of the personnel selection universe, physical, shooting, and psychological tests, as well as medical and laboratory examinations, among others. [It also includes] personnel preparation, with English language instruction, tactical exercises, specific individual training, establishment of links with the framing troop and the start of operational planning, in accordance with the exercise’s tactical framework and logistical preparation, concentration of resources in the Area of Operations, sustainment and reversal of the resources employed in the activity.
Diálogo: What is the importance of having Brazilian and U.S. military personnel in training exercises such as the jungle terrain exercise?
Gen. Guilherme: It improves the capabilities of the Brazilian and the U.S. armies to form international defense arrangements, promoting a healthy exchange of doctrine and other procedures, which necessarily brings operational, logistical, and administrative gains for both parties.