Adm. Kurt W. Tidd
Fuerzas Comando 2017 Closing Ceremony Remarks
July 27, 2017
Eguahé porá, buenos dias, bom dia, good morning.
Senior leaders and exercise participants, it’s an honor to join you today at the Fuerzas Comando closing ceremony. Minister Martinez, thank you and the people of Paraguay for your gracious hospitality and the spirit of welcome you have shown all our nations.
Before we recognize the efforts of each national team, I’d like to congratulate everyone involved with the meticulous and often difficult work required in the run-up and execution of this exercise. This team includes the Paraguayan military forces for hosting Fuerzas Comando.
I’d like to especially highlight the excellent partnership of Brigadier General Hector Limenza, Captain Luis Vera, Colonel Usbaldo Mendieta, Major Diego Torres, Colonel Nery Torres Laconich, and the ministry of defense and armed forces command staff.
On the U.S. side, I’d like to thank Rear Admiral Green and Special Operations Command South, the United States Embassy in Asuncion, and the training and exercise team at U.S. Southern Command
And, of course, we would not be here if not for the competing teams who made this year’s Fuerzas Comando the best one yet. Please join me in giving these folks a round of applause .
I would like to take a few moments to speak directly to the competing teams.
In the months of careful training, and during the last week’s competition, you probably haven’t given much thought to “why” we have this unique exercise.
Let’s start with the obvious ‘why.’
As anyone who has participated knows, Fuerzas Comando stands apart from the rest of our multinational exercises. There’s no other exercise like it.
It brings together an elite group of warriors from 20 nations to pit their impressive physical and mental skills against one another.
It is an awesome display of physical fitness, weapons marksmanship, tactical capabilities, and above all, teamwork and cooperation.
For the past week, the ‘best of the best’ have challenged one another, bested one another, and learned from one another.
No matter which unit we belong to or what our specialty is, when we join in exercises like these, we become stronger, together.
As General Thomas noted in his opening comments, Fuerzas Comando is yet another link in a global network.
This network brings together our hemisphere’s special operations forces and key leadership into an interlocking ‘tribe of families,’ partners, and true friends.
From the snowy north of Canada to Tierra del Fuego in Argentina, this extended family works together seamlessly, shares information freely, and trusts one another implicitly.
And that’s what this exercise really teaches us. The most valuable outcomes of Fuerzas Comando are the trust we’ve built and the friendships we’ve forged.
This trust and those friendships are key assets in the face of complex, transnational challenges like illicit networks.
Fuerzas Comando also teaches us that we must work ever harder to build, cultivate, and expand our own friendly network of regional and international partners committed to the same goals.
And above all, Fuerzas Comando teaches us that to thrive and survive, at sea or ashore, we must work together to ensure our collective safety, security, and prosperity.
I encourage each of you to take these lessons, and apply them at home, and during every engagement we have together. They are lessons that will serve us, and our countries, well into the future.
In closing, while today we may have only one champion…you have all won something far more precious than the trophies we’re about to hand out, and that is trust.
Guard it well. Nurture it, and honor it in word and deed.
I salute you all and thank you for everything you do to keep our hemisphere safe and secure.
Thank you again for being part of Fuerzas Comando, and we’ll see you next year in Panama!