U.S. Army Reserve and Joint Task Force Bravo (JTF-Bravo) military personnel deployed in Guatemala to provide humanitarian assistance carried out more than 300 missions in 2021, through U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM)’s Humanitarian Assistance Program, the U.S. Department of Defense indicated in a December 14, 2021 press release.
The efforts had a direct impact on the Guatemalan people, the statement said. The U.S. government has invested more than $1 million in different projects; one of them allowing more than 100,000 families to have access to drinking water, the statement added.
The Guatemalan Army reported assisting the U.S. Embassy’s Office for Security Cooperation in early December to deliver water filters to families in San Juan Sacatepéquez, which, JTF-Bravo said, “will allow them to have drinking water for the next two years.”
“Many of the regions we support are made of rural communities and communities of indigenous Guatemalan decent. Many of these communities do not have regular access to clean drinking water or medical services,” said U.S. Army Major Paul Brandon, one of JTF-Bravo’s team leaders.
On December 13-17, as part of SOUTHCOM’s ongoing promise to its regional partners, JTF-Bravo conducted medical missions in the municipality of Huehuetenango, the Guatemalan Army reported.
Military doctors provided preventive medicine, primary care, and dental and pharmaceutical services, as well as veterinary services to improve food security, JTF-Bravo said. Some 30 U.S. military personnel deployed from Soto Cano Air Base in Honduras, to support the mission.
On November 8, the Cobán municipality in Alta Verapaz department held the inauguration of a clinic, thanks to a U.S. donation of $1.2 million for its refurbishment, along with $600,000 for medical equipment, the news site Agencia Guatemalteca de Noticias reported.
In 2021, civil affairs teams with the Military Group at the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala also trained 725 officials in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, so they can more effectively respond, JTF-Bravo said.
“Sharing information and best practices is key to enabling our Guatemalan partners to be self-sufficient and effectively use available resources,” Maj. Brandon said. “We express our firm willingness to strengthen the bilateral relationship as partners and friends of the United States,” Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei said via Twitter.