U.S. service members assigned and attached to Special Operations Command South and the 1st Psychological Operations Battalion from the Command of Special Operations of the Brazilian Army, participated in a subject matter expert exchange April 15-19, 2019, in Gioânia, Brazil.
The event was designed to share information about best practices and lessons learned from both countries to improve understanding and capabilities.
“We, members of the only Psychological Operations Unit in Latin America, wanted to host an exchange with U.S. troops who do military information support operations because we have a great deal of respect for how the U.S. conducts business and because we feel it would help us improve our efforts,” said Lt. Col. Sergio Murilo Pereira Da Silva, commander for the Brazilian Army, 1st PSYOP Bn. “This is not the first exchange we’ve had with U.S. troops and hopefully it won’t be the last as we look to continue to share best practices and continuing improving our partnership.”
The last SMEE the Brazilian Army had with USA was with the 1st PSYOP Bn. (Airborne) out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Tracy Zimmerman, SOCSOUTH PSYOP noncommissioned officer, described what he felt made this SMEE a success.
“The mutual respect we share between our two militaries is directly responsible for the success of this engagement,” said Zimmerman. “We had representatives from two fully capable & operational forces that were able to learn from each other increasing our ability to not only hone our craft, but also ensure a lasting and fruitful partnership.”
The exchange started with an orientation of Brazil’s base, followed by overviews of operations from Brazil’s team to SOCSOUTH’s troops.
SOCSOUTH delivered their overviews of PSYOP and best practices the second day along with some tips and lessons learned.
“That’s what it’s all about,” said Staff Sgt. Robert Barnes, SOCSOUTH Civil Affairs NCO. “Working with our partner nation, developing the relationship, and enhancing capabilities for joint information operations. We want to share as much as possible with our Brazilian counterparts and continue the relationship well into the future.”
The third day of the exchange allowed the teams from both nations to pose specific questions about certain events, best practices, and share how the other country might have handled things differently in a given operation.
Gifts, hugs, and friendly words to each other were exchanged at the conclusion of the SMEE.
“We learned a lot from one another and we are grateful for the experience SOCSOUTH was able to pass along to us,” said Murilo. “Thank you so much and the door is always open for us not to lose this bond.”
SOCSOUTH and the 1st PSYOP Bn. team are currently working out details to establish a more permanent partnership between both nations.