Despite the cold weather, Special Operations Forces from 19 countries gathered in Santiago, Chile for the Opening Day Ceremony of Fuerzas Comando 2019 at the Brigada de Operaciones Especiales “Lautaro.”
The competition is an annual, multinational skills event sponsored by the U.S. Southern Command and executed by Special Operations Command South, hosted this year by the Ejercito de Chile and the Estado Mayor Conjunto, Chile. Each participating country aims to improve its security capabilities through the exchange of knowledge and expertise.
Chilean Brig. Gen. Pedro Pascual Robin, commanding general for BOE “Lautaro,” opened the ceremony by welcoming everyone.
“Fuerzas Comando is a competition that symbolizes values and respect as well as the will of all countries in the region to work together for a better regional security and a safer world…” said Pascual.
This event is planned and coordinated months in advance with our host nation partners and has been conducted yearly since 2004 .
U.S. Army Col. Brian Greata, SOCSOUTH Deputy Commanding Officer, spoke about the example being set by this physical challenge during the opening ceremony.
“Beyond being a competition, Fuerzas Comando is an example of partnership and friendship,” said Greata.
Greata’s closing remarks were aimed at the participants in which he expressed his best wishes to all in their respective languages.
Chile’s National Minister of Defense, Alberto Espina, spoke last. He addressed SOCSOUTH and thanked the unit for their participation and continued support of his troops and the strengthening of the ties between the U.S. Army and all Latin American Countries, especially Chile.
“Fuerzas Comando is a great opportunity for our Commando Forces to work together with noble objectives,” said Espina.
The scheduled 10-day event is designed to demonstrate and test participant’s skills through a friendly competition, which promotes interoperability, military-to-military relationships, increase training and improve regional security. The competition consists of a physical fitness test, an obstacle course, a foot march, sniper competition, water event, a marksmanship and assault tests.