FORT TOLEMAIDA, Colombia - After a week of intense heat and extreme competition, Fuerzas Comando, the U.S. Southern Command-sponsored special operations skills competition, came to an end with a closing ceremony at Fort Tolemaida, Colombia, July 31.
Seventeen nations competed for bragging rights to earn the title of best Special Operations Forces team in the Western Hemisphere.
For the sixth time in 10 years, the team from the Republic of Colombia hoisted the coveted Fuerzas Comando cup. The U.S. team, comprised of members assigned to the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), placed second and El Salvador was third.
“We are very proud of what we accomplished during the competition and it gives us pride to know how well we completed against elite men from nations like Colombia and the U.S.,” said a member of the El Salvador team. “We look forward to competing again next year and trying to win the cup back for El Salvador.”
“You are all winners,” said Brig. Gen. Sean P. Mulholland, the commander for Special Operations Command South, during his speech. “The relationships fostered amongst all of you throughout the competition will last a lifetime. You must build upon these friendships and work together to fight against the common threats we face throughout our hemisphere.”
In addition to the first three places, Honduras, Panama, Jamaica, Peru, Uruguay, Canada and Costa Rica also participated, and were among the top 10 nations in Fuerzas Comando. Other countries that participated were Paraguay, Chile, Belize, Trinidad and Tobago, Guatemala, Dominican Republic and Suriname.
During the closing ceremony, all 17 teams were standing across the field as they did in the opening ceremony, but this time the feeling of accomplishment and pride were visible after eight days of grueling challenges that took each team to their physical and mental limits.