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News | June 28, 2017

Joining forces

By Maria Pinel Joint Task Force-Bravo Public Affairs

A Joint Task Force-Bravo Joint Security Forces team participated in a Subject Matter Expert Exchange with local police forces in La Paz, Honduras on June 20, 2017 to enhance their ability to enter, clear and secure locations.

The Military Police members shared knowledge on how to enter buildings and clear the areas tactically, providing the Honduran forces with necessary techniques and procedures that can help prevent casualties among their force while entering hostile situations.  

 “We are trying to provide them with better techniques for when they enter buildings,” said Sgt. Jesse Ruiz, JSF primary instructor for the training. “This training is very important for them so they can work better as a team, do a better job and avoid casualties in their force.”

The JSF service members prepared them on how to determine the right use of force in a fraction of seconds, how to determine if and when to pull the trigger and how to identify hostiles from innocents when entering a room. 

The training had two phases, including classroom time and later a practical exercise where they were given a walk and run of the topics covered during class hours. Participants had to practice communicating with their team members using commands and coordination as they approached the target together.

“We gave them different scenarios, one is a hostile scenario and the other is non-hostile involving civilians, which is what they may normally encounter every day in Honduras,” said Ruiz.

One of the participants, Officer 1st Class Gabriel Rivera, Municipal Police of San Jose, La Paz spoke of the importance of these types of exchanges sharing that he had been injured while on the line of duty a few years ago due to lack of coordination with his team mates during the clearing of a hostile house in Olancho, Honduras.

“We participate in clearing rooms regularly in our line of work,” said Rivera. “We put these things into practice daily. This is very important to us and we are grateful to the JTF-Bravo team for supporting us constantly through these exchanges.  We learn a lot from them and we hope that these practices keep happening.”

Local police forces generally accompany JTF-Bravo exercises and work side by side with JSF to provide security during missions throughout Honduras.

“The purpose is for them to train others and avoid casualties when clearing buildings, maintaining a strong police force. It is very important for JSF to have a good counterpart in the Honduran police” said Ruiz.

Joint Security Forces is currently engaging with more Police forces in La Paz as well as Comayagua, participating in similar exchanges, as part of JTF-Bravo’s commitment to enhancing partner capacity throughout the U.S. Southern Command’s Area of Operations.