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Library > Fact Sheets > New Horizons/Beyond the Horizon


Posted 7/18/2008 Printable Fact Sheet

United States military personnel assigned to Joint Task Force-Bravo at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras, Central America, have conducted several exercises in Honduras and Central America, such as New Horizons, since the mid-1980s. These exercises support thousands of indigents from Honduras, Belize, Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Panama. Joint Task Force-Bravo was established in August 1984 to exercise command and control of U.S. Forces and exercises in the Republic of Honduras. Even today, Joint Task Force-Bravo is an organization that not only exercises this command and control, but also conducts combined operations called New Horizons until 2008 when the name of the exercise was changed to Beyond the Horizon. These operations demonstrate Joint Task Force-Bravo's and U.S. Southern Command's commitment to their Central American neighbors. These joint operations and exercises provide excellent training opportunities for U.S. forces, improve relations with the host country of Honduras and its Latin American neighbors, help improve the quality of life for their people, and provide humanitarian assistance where it is needed the most.

U.S. Southern Command sponsors New Horizons/Beyond the Horizon, delegating controlling authority to U.S. Army South and 12th Air Force, with the effort led by Joint Task Force-Bravo Engineering and Operations (J37). The units are a combination of active-duty and Reserve units from the U.S. Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marine Corps. New Horizons/Beyond the Horizon greatly benefits the communities where the projects take place, providing the governments the opportunity to create and/or expand the quality of life for their inhabitants through the construction and/or renovation of medical clinics, schools, community centers, water wells, and other quality of life enhancement facilities. The schools and clinics built can resist winds up to 150 miles per hour, an important feature in a region that is a hotbed of powerful storms every hurricane season. U.S. military health care professionals will also conduct four Medical Readiness Training Exercises (MEDRETEs) in each country, providing general and specialized medical and dental services to thousands of citizens requiring care. The exercises include veterinarian care, a vital service that ensures the health of valuable food sources and helps prevent diseases that could be passed from animals and livestock to a population. The host nation determines which town needs the support, and the town determines what type of construction and/or medical support is needed the most. Additionally, during New Horizons/Beyond the Horizon exercises, participating units gain valuable deployment, sustainment, and construction experience.

In 2008, Beyond the Horizon projects were executed in Belize, Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Panama. U.S. military personnel constructed two schools, renovated three schools, built water towers and four lavatories. They also executed four medical readiness exercises, dental readiness exercises and veterinary readiness exercises.

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