SOTO CANO AIR BASE, Honduras, –
Army Col. Richard Juergens took command of Joint Task Force-Bravo from Army Col. Marcus De Oliveira during a ceremony here June 27.
"I am proud and humbled to command this great team," Colonel Juergens said. "The command and our Honduran partners have a great history of working together to respond to disasters and medical emergencies and help people."
Colonel Juergens is an Army aviator and is qualified to pilot several helicopters, including the CH-47, of which some are assigned to Soto Cano AB. He has completed two combat tours in Afghanistan and one in Iraq.
The outgoing commander, Colonel De Oliveira, leaves for his new assignment in Vicenza, Italy, after one year commanding JTF-Bravo.
"It was my distinct honor to have served next to you over the last year," Colonel De Oliveira said to the troops during the ceremony. "You have always been prepared for the unexpected. It was always a team effort."
JTF-Bravo is a subordinate command of U.S. Southern command. It has a long-standing relationship with Honduras and other Central American countries and offers regional security expertise and experience. Within the task force's five subordinate commands are nearly 1,200 military, civilian and contract personnel. JTF-Bravo conducts joint, combined and interagency operations and supports contingency operations throughout Central America in order to enhance theater-wide operational security and reinforce regional cooperation.