U.S. Will Hold Military and Humanitarian Exercises in El Salvador
By Dialogo March 01, 2011
Over the next six months, the United States will hold military and humanitarian exercises in El Salvador, a country that President Barack Obama will visit in March, U.S. Ambassador Mari Carmen Aponte announced on 25 February.
The “variety of joint programs” that will be carried out “only demonstrates the strong ties that exist between the armed forces of El Salvador and the United States, and how working together can benefit the majority of Salvadorans,” the ambassador declared.
Aponte made the announcement during a medical-services day held by military personnel of both countries for poor communities on Corral de Mulas Island, in the Bay of Jiquilisco, around one hundred kilometers southeast of San Salvador.
El Salvador, considered a U.S. “strategic ally” in Central America, will be visited by Obama on 22 and 23 March, as part of a Latin American tour that will also include Chile and Brazil.
Aponte also announced that officials from the United States, Guatemala, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, and Honduras will come together in El Salvador to participate in a conference on “Peace-Keeping Operations of the Americas 2011.”
In addition, teams from twenty-two countries will come together in El Salvador in June to participate in the 2011 Commando Forces Competition, an international competition in military tactics.
A first humanitarian exercise titled “Beyond the Horizon” will begin next week in San Vicente, sixty kilometers east of San Salvador, where U.S. military personnel will rebuild infrastructure damaged by Tropical Depression Ida in November 2009.
Aponte said that the U.S. hospital ship USS Comfort, which provided care to patients in the country in 2007 and 2009, is scheduled to dock at the Salvadoran port of Acajutla, 118 km west of the capital, in July.