Psychological operations experts from the Brazilian and U.S. Army’s special operations units conducted an exchange to share best practices.
U.S. and Brazilian service members from Special Operations Command South (SOCSOUTH) and the Brazilian Army’s (EB in Portuguese) Special Operations Command’s 1st Psychological Operations Battalion (1º B Op Psic, in Portuguese), participated in a subject matter expert exchange(SMEE), April 15-19, 2019, in Goiânia, Brazil. The event was designed to share information about the countries’ best practices and lessons learned to improve understanding and capabilities.
“We, members of the only Psychological Operations (PSYOP) unit in Latin America, wanted to host an exchange with U.S. troops who do Military Information Support Operations because we have a great deal of respect for how the U.S. conducts business, and because we feel it would help us improve our efforts,” said Brazilian Army Lieutenant Colonel Sergio Murilo Pereira Da Silva, commander of 1º B Op Psic. “This isn’t the first exchange we’ve had with U.S. troops and hopefully it won’t be the last, as we look to continue to share best practices and improve our partnership.”
U.S. Army Sergeant 1st Class Tracy Zimmerman, a PSYOP noncommissioned officer (NCO) at SOCSOUTH, described the success of the SMEE. “The mutual respect we share between our two militaries is directly responsible for the success of this engagement,” said Sgt. 1st Cl. Zimmerman. “We had representatives from two fully capable and operational forces that were able to learn from each other, increasing our ability to not only hone our craft, but also ensure a lasting and fruitful partnership.”
The exchange started with an orientation of EB’s Special Operations Command, followed by an overview of EB’s PSYOP. SOCSOUTH followed the second day, with their overview of PSYOP, best practices, lessons learned, and other information.
“That’s what it’s all about,” said U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Robert Barnes, Civil Affairs NCO at SOCSOUTH. “[It’s about] working with our partner nation, developing the relationship, and enhancing capabilities for joint information operations. We want to share as much as possible with our Brazilian counterparts and continue the relationship well into the future.”
The third day of the exchange allowed the both teams to ask questions about events and best practices, and share how each other country manages operations. At the conclusion of the SMEE, participants exchanged gifts and friendly words to each other.
“We learned a lot from one another, and we are grateful for the experience SOCSOUTH provided,” said Lt. Col. Murilo. “The door is always open for us not to lose this bond.”