Forty-eight New York Army National Guard Soldiers headed to Brazil October 28-29 to exercise with Brazil’s 52nd Jungle Infantry Battalion and soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).
Exercise Southern Vanguard 24’s main action is occurring near Macapa in the Amazon Delta, according to First Lieutant Elliot Zalewski, a project planning officer for the New York National Guard.
1st Lt. Zalewski said the Brazilian battalion, and an infantry company, and other soldiers from the 101st will conduct tactical exercises in the Amazon rainforest.
The exercise will enable the New York National Guard to continue to develop its relationship with Brazil under the U.S. Department of Defense National Guard Bureau State Partnership Program, according to Army Brigadier General Isabel Smith, the New York National Guard’s director of joint staff.
“The exercise will continue to expand and increase interoperability between the New York National Guard and Brazil,” Brig. Gen. Smith said. “We look forward to continuing knowledge sharing and relationship building with our Brazilian partners.”
The New York National Guard and Brazil’s military initialed a State Partnership Program agreement in 2019.
Southern Vanguard exercises are organized by U.S. Army South and pair U.S. Army elements with those of South American militaries.
Exercise Southern Vanguard 23, for example, took place in Colombia with members of the Georgia and Illinois Army National Guard.
The New York Air National Guard’s 105th Airlift Wing flew the soldiers to and from Brazil on a C-17 Globemaster III transport.
The 466th Medical Company will provide medical services during the exercise and the 138th Public Affairs Detachment will conduct public affairs operations.
The 53rd Digital Liaison Detachment, whose soldiers are trained to interact with other nation’s military forces, will work with the Brazilian battalion’s operations section.
The field artillery soldiers and the Brazilians will work on coordinating fire support missions.
Thirty-eight New York Army National Guard soldiers will attend a three-day jungle survival course alongside members of the 101st Airborne Division outside Belem.
Zalewski said soldiers from the 53rd Digital Liaison Detachment would not participate in the course because of their duties as headquarters staff.
Since entering into the State Partnership with Brazil, the New York Air National Guard has sent aircraft and personnel to participate in Brazilian exercises, and Air Guard personnel specializing in space operations have worked with their Brazilian counterparts.
New York soldiers and airmen have attended the Brazil Jungle Warfare School, and New York Army Guard soldiers took part in Brazil’s Operation Parana, an international military domestic response exercise in May.