SOTO CANO AIR BASE, Honduras, –
Members from Joint Task Force-Bravo completed a two-day troop movement of Honduran soldiers Dec. 17, 2015, in the Gracias a Dios Department (state) of Honduras, as a part of a greater endeavor to assist the Central American nation's efforts to combat the trafficking of illicit materials through the region.
The troop-movement mission is part of a greater Honduran operation, named CARAVANA, and this iteration was the final one this calendar year, continuing to develop and build on the effects of the operation from the initial vision and request for support from the Honduran president in October 2014.
Originally, the request for aid to move troops came from the Honduran President's office to Gen. John F. Kelly, U.S. Southern Command commander.
"Our President has recognized the importance of supporting our Central American partners, making the region one of his top foreign policy priorities," Kelly stated in his March 12, 2015 Posture Statement to Congress. "We are now seeing real progress being made by the three 'Northern Triangle' countries. While there are many good examples, the situation is especially encouraging in Honduras, where the government is working hard to combat the drug trade, re-establish governance in remote areas, and take meaningful action to protect human rights."
Since its initiation, Operation CARAVANA has facilitated the movement of nearly 5,000 troops and over 210,000 pounds of cargo between remote locations in the eastern part of Honduras, giving the country the ability to quickly focus and adjust their forces against the ever changing tactics traffickers use in the region.
As Operation CARAVANA continues to evolve in its execution, JTF-Bravo continues to work in support of the Honduran Forces to ensure we facilitate efforts to gain significant effects against the trafficking organizations working within Honduras.
"The execution of this operation on a consistent basis has not only achieved the right effects within Gracias a Dios, but also effects throughout the region - impacting the overall trafficking network," said Col. Robert Harman, JTF-Bravo commander. "In addition, it has increased our interaction with the Honduran Staff in developing detailed and integrated plans, and also integrated command and control throughout the Honduran 30 day rotations of Operation CARAVANA. This operation is not only impacting the environment but providing the time and space for further development of our partnered forces."