SOTO CANO AIR BASE, Honduras , –
The commander of Joint Task Force-Bravo and major subordinate commanders welcomed more than 40 key leaders from the Republic of Honduras who participated in Honduran Leaders' Day, Nov. 14.
During the visit, JTF-Bravo senior leaders shared their vision and strategy with Honduran leaders to include the U.S. Ambassador, department governors, ministry representatives, commissioners of police and fire departments, the Permanent Contingency Commission of Honduras (COPECO) and senior military officials.
"Originally Leaders' Day was oriented towards senior Honduran military leadership. Over time we wanted to bring in a broader audience of civil leaders. When I took over this command, what I found was that many of the governors from around Honduras did not have a firm understanding of what occurs here at Soto Cano, particularly the capabilities and mission of JTF-Bravo. So that is why we planned a dynamic tour where the leaders of Honduras can actually talk to service members, see all the equipment we employ and really understand our capabilities," said U.S. Army Col. Kirk Dorr, Joint Task Force-Bravo commander.
Throughout the day, JTF-Bravo and Honduran leaders engaged in discussions focusing how to continue to embolden the strong relationship between the U.S. and Honduras, and how the Task Force can continue to partner with Honduras.
"I think that it is very important that JTF-Bravo has opened its doors to Honduran governors for a couple of reasons. First, it shows that there is nothing mysterious going on. JTF-Bravo is here on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief mission, and we're here to support Honduras. Secondly, it's very important for local government officials to understand what the capabilities of JTF-Bravo are so the leaders here in Honduras can take the best advantage of the resources available to them," said James Nealon, U.S. Ambassador to Honduras.
As part of Honduran Leaders' Day, the distinguished visitors were provided a command brief that highlighted the strategic importance of Soto Cano AB, as well as a tour of the base and task force units. During the tour, the Honduran leaders witnessed some of the capabilities of JTF-Bravo through a variety of demonstrations. The 612th Air Base fire fighters, Army Forces Battalion, Joint Security Forces K-9 handlers, I-228 Aviation and the Medical Element's mobile surgical team all came together to illustrate the importance of JTF-Bravo in supporting U.S. Southern Command's priorities in the Central American area of responsibility.
"I hope leaders from around Honduras come away with the understanding that this is a joint task force with open doors so that they can learn about the different capabilities. This task force is here to serve the needs of this country in terms of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief," added Nealon.
Honduran Leaders' Day was initiated in 2009 to educate local and national civic leaders on the mission and capabilities of JTF-Bravo and Soto Cano Air Base. JTF-Bravo supports the whole of U.S. government approach in enhancing regional security, stability and cooperation in Central America.