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JTF-Bravo, Honduran leaders recognize strong bonds at Soto Cano

By Maria Pinel | JTF-Bravo Public Affairs | March 2, 2020

SOTO CANO AIR BASE, Honduras —

Joint Task Force-Bravo hosted Honduran military and civilian leaders at Soto Cano Air Base, Feb. 28, 2020, to strengthen partnerships and recognize the value of continued camaraderie. 

Among the attendees was retired Honduran Air Force Gen. José Enrique Soto Cano, namesake for the air base as guest of honor. Additionally, the governors of Gracias a Dios, Francisco Morazán and other municipalities near Soto Cano, as well as regional health directors of Comayagua and La Paz and senior leaders from the Honduran Army, Air Force and Navy spent time with members of JTF-Bravo.

“Today is a day we look forward to all year – it’s an opportunity to thank everyone for being exceptional hosts to our mission here in Honduras,” said U.S. Army Col. Steven Barry, JTF-Bravo commander, during his opening remarks. “The organization has a history that goes back nearly four decades. With time our mission has changed, but our strong relationship with our Honduran hosts has remained constant.”

Leaders Day, as the event is known, provides an important opportunity to showcase how JTF-Bravo utilizes its resources to support partnership engagements, subject matter exchanges and security cooperation with regional allies to achieve U.S. Southern Command’s goals of ensuring a safe and prosperous hemisphere.

“All four tenant military units – three Honduran and JTF-Bravo – perform operations and duties from this base, thinking about the wellbeing of our country and the region,” said Honduran Air Force Lt. Col. Jaime Leonel Brito, Soto Cano Air Base commander. 

The event is also a special opportunity to build relationships outside the scope military operations and is one of many initiatives the task force has developed to integrate with the nearby communities and its host nation.

The event was organized by the civil affairs office to strengthen ties and welcome local leadership into JTF-Bravo’s home. 

“Leaders Day is an example of JTF-Bravo's 38-year enduring promise to our Honduran partners across all sectors of governance,” said Lt. Col. Jeffrey Uherka, civil affairs director. “We are Americans living and serving alongside fellow Americans — we are one team.”

During the visit, teams from the 1st Battalion, 228 Aviation Regiment, the 352st Combat Support Hospital, the Soto Cano fire department, and U.S. Southern Command’s situational assessment team, guided visitors through their capabilities and functions to inform them on the broader scope of day-to-day operations.

“[JTF-Bravo] has been an important bastion for our country in emergency situations, as well as for our armed forces and the country’s development. We know of the work you do, but today I’ve had the opportunity to see your capabilities and the strengths that we as Honduran can count on by having you here ­– and you can count on Honduran brothers to be at your side,” said Brig. Gen. German Velásquez, deputy Honduran Joint Chiefs of Staff.