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News | April 29, 2024


By Capt. Dorothy Sherwood Joint Task Force-Bravo Public Affairs

The multinational exercise CENTAM SMOKE ended with a closing ceremony awarding the five participating countries’ firefighters at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras, April 26, 2024.

Twenty-six firefighters from Colombia, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Jamaica earned a diploma at the closing ceremony of the 17th iteration of CENTAM SMOKE inside Joint Task Force-Bravo’s 612th Air Base Squadron’s Fire Station.

“Remember this, we are living in challenging times, and it’s only by training together and preparing to face these challenges together that we can better support the people and the communities of this region,” said U.S. Army Col. Wiese, JTF-Bravo commander. “I know that the training was tough and at many points you were exhausted, but you persevered through it — by doing so you are now better prepared to assist your teams when needed.”

The first three days of the exercise focused on techniques and procedures on hose advancements up two stories, nozzle control, vehicle extrication, rescue operations and carrying a 150-pound mannequin.  

A photo of firefighters putting out a fire.
CENTAM SMOKE participants put out a live fire on an aircraft trainer during CENTAM SMOKE at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras, April 23, 2024. During this training, Joint Task Force-Bravo’s 612th Air Base Squadron firefighters train firefighters from Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Colombia and Jamaica.
Photo By: U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Shelby Pruitt-Johnson
VIRIN: 240426-F-GC389-0003

On day four, the firefighters got to use these learned techniques and procedures in structural live fire training and low-angle rescue evolutions.

“This week, we all joined together in training events to better understand how we operate independently, so that one day, if called upon, we can operate jointly,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Gerald Allen, 612th ABS fire chief. “You have all demonstrated what we can accomplish when we come together as a team.”

At the closing ceremony, Jamaica was awarded “top country performers” of the Firefighter Challenge Obstacle Course averaging two minutes and 43 seconds. The “top performer” of the Fire Ground Obstacle Course was Gustavo Pena, a firefighter from Colombia, completing it in two minutes and 19 seconds.

Joint Task Force-Bravo is dedicated to its security commitments to our partner nations in Central America. This commitment is shown through the four-month preparation on these various training events to well-prepare these five countries firefighters to face any obstacle.

Together with our partner nations, Joint Task Force-Bravo plans, develops capabilities, trains, and conducts exercises to prepare for natural and manmade disasters in the region. 

“Visto lo visto. Retirada? Nada, au au!”