SOTO CANO AIR BASE, Honduras –
A morning filled with sports, fellowship, and friendly competition celebrated the bi-annual Camaraderie Day between Honduras and the United States, here, May 2, 2014.
Camaraderie Day is a group of events built to celebrate the partnership between Honduras and the United States, throughout friendly competition amongst servicemembers of both countries' Armed Forces.
The day began with an opening ceremony that included the playing of both countries' National Anthems, as well as opening remarks from U.S. Army Col. Thomas Boccardi, Joint Task Force-Bravo commander, and Honduran Army Col. Rene Ponce Fonseca, chief of Honduran Army training operations.
"Today is Camaraderie Day, a significant event" said Boccardi. "We know today will be filled with sporting events and good competition all by the bond of camaraderie."
After the opening ceremony, U.S. and Honduran servicemembers participated in a fun-walk through the Honduran Air Force Aviation Academy and then back to the soccer field, which symbolized a unified effort between both countries. Throughout the day, the Hondurans and Americans competed in men and women's 4x200 relay, volleyball, bicycle relay, and soccer. The idea behind this competition is to use the international language of sports as a lead-in to strengthen the bond between the fellow servicemembers. At the end of the day, the soccer match revealed which team would take the Camaraderie Day trophy home. Despite the best efforts of the Americans throughout the competition and especially the soccer match, the Hondurans took home the Camaraderie Day trophy for the fourth straight time.
"The fact that the Honduran and U.S. Army come together for this type of event, shows the great relationship both armed forces have," said Honduran Army private Betsaida Castellanos. "I had a great time and would love to come back and compete."
Following the competition, the Hondurans and Americans enjoyed a "fiesta lunch" where despite the language barrier; they were able to celebrate together a successful Camaraderie Day.
"Coming together and playing as a team truly strengthens the friendship between JTF-Bravo and Honduras," said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Emmanuel Gyesi. "Camaraderie Day is about coming together, the U.S. showing Honduras their support and vice versa."
Fonseca, on behalf of Honduran Army Brig. Gen. Francisco Alvarez, Army Forces commander, presented Boccardi with a wooden plaque in appreciation for the camaraderie between partner armed forces. "We are very grateful for winning this trophy, but we are also grateful for you," said Ponce Fonseca. "You were very strong competitors."
Joint Task Force-Bravo, as guests of their Honduran host-nation partners and the senior representative for USSOUTHCOM at Soto Cano Air Base, conducts and supports joint operations, actions, and activities throughout the joint operations area maintaining a forward presence in order to enhance regional security, stability, and cooperation.