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News | Aug. 6, 2020

JTF-Bravo greets new commander

By Maria Pinel Joint Task Force Bravo Public Affairs

U.S. Army Col. John D. Litchfield assumed command of Joint Task Force-Bravo during a small ceremony at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras August 5, continuing a 36-year long legacy of partnership in the region.

During his thirty-one years of combined enlisted and commissioned service in the U.S. Army, Litchfield’s career has spanned a wide range of both conventional and special operations missions, including several joint, interagency, combined and allied assignments, leading missions across five continents and sixteen countries.

Admiral Craig Faller, commander of the U.S. Southern Command presided over the virtual ceremony during which he highlighted the importance of JTF-Bravo’s presence in the region.

“Our presence is made possible in Honduras by our friendship. We value the relationship and respect you for what you do,” said Adm. Faller. “This hemisphere is our neighborhood and what happens in Honduras has an impact in the United States and similarly. We are close in distance, we are also close in friendship, family and culture, but most importantly we are close in values. We value freedom, we value democracy, and the rule of law and human rights.”

JTF-Bravo unit directors and major supporting command commanders maintained social distancing procedures due to COVID-19 as they witnessed the transfer of the colors from U.S. Army Col. Steven Barry, outgoing commander, to Col. Litchfield, signifying the transfer of command.

Barry’s accomplishments during his tenure in command include multiple joint and multinational exercise in Panama, Colombia and throughout Central America.

“It has been an absolute privilege to lead the men and women of Joint Task Force-Bravo over the past year. We have done tremendous work alongside our partners in Honduras and the rest of Central America—from daily operations in the Northern Tier (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras) to supporting the USNS Comfort in Costa Rica to building relationships in the jungles of Panama and many areas in between. We have saved lives through aeromedical evacuations and improved the livelihood of thousands of people by providing basic medical services, fighting wildfires, and donating supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic, all while staying postured to assist in disaster relief at a moment’s notice. I couldn’t be more proud of the professionalism and dedication of the team here. The task force is in capable hands and I look forward to seeing this much-needed work continue as we welcome Colonel Litchfield to our dynamic team.”

As a new leader assumes command of the task force and the torch of leadership is passed on, JTF-Bravo continues strengthening relationships throughout the SOUTHCOM area of operations as the longest standing task force in U.S. history.

“I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to lead the task force and continue building relationships with our valued partners throughout the region,” said Litchfield. “Now, more than ever, it’s crucial that we continue seeking opportunities to grow and nourish those friendships while envisioning our shared future.”