News | June 28, 2019

Fuerzas Comando 19 Closing Ceremony Sees Familiar Team Win Title

By Sgt. 1st Class Alex Ramos, Special Operations Command South

(SANTIAGO, Chile) - Fuerzas Comando 2019 came to an end with a closing ceremony held in the Edificio Bicentenario Ejercito de Chile, Santiago, Chile, June 27, 2019. 

Distinguished visitors from the 19 participating countries attended the ceremony to celebrate with their teams.

U.S. Adm. Craig S. Faller, U.S. Southern Command commander, and Chile’s Commander in Chief of the Army, Gen. Ricardo Martínez Menanteau, presided over the ceremony.

Chile’s Commander of Land Operations, Maj. Gen. Rafael Fuenzalida Carmona, spoke first after the national anthems of the host nation and the U.S. were played and an introduction was given.

“History reminds us that the ongoing defense of our sovereignty means that our needs are the essential part of the societies we serve and protect generating countless effects that contribute to development and cohesion in a country,” said Fuenzalida. “Increasing our ties, our friendships, interoperability, cooperation among the special operations forces and showcasing the level of training we have in a competition with high physical and mental pressure is part of the objective of a multinational army bringing together elite troops represented by countries here with us today and the authorities.” 

Admiral Faller followed Gen. Fuenzalida with a message of togetherness and what it means to build trust. 

“...This morning we are all one team. We’re all here together, ” said Faller. 

The Admiral continued by thanking the host nation for their hospitality and their effort in putting this event together along with thanking Special Operations Command South’s commanding general, U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Antonio Fletcher, and team for all of their hard work in planning and executing a successful event. 

“The theme for Fuerzas Comando was ‘We are Fuerzas Comando,’ we are all warriors,” said Faller. “ You demonstrated that this week that you are warriors, you work together, and you are ready. As the General spoke, the key to being a warrior, to being a teammate is building trust. We build that trust in order to make a difference for our nations and our future.”

After the speeches were given, MG Fletcher and the Commander for the Special Operations Brigade “Lautaro,” Brig. Gen. Pedro Pascual Robin, presented the awards to each team. 

Perennial winner Colombia took top honors for the 10th time in the 15th edition of the tactical competition that tested comandos expertise, resilience and mental strength. Chile finished second with Ecuador placing third. 

Regional partnerships reflect our enduring promise to one another for a cooperative, prosperous, and secure hemisphere. Fuerzas Comando provides the opportunity for the exchange of experiences and a platform to gain new knowledge about our counterparts, their countries, and their cultures.

Next year’s competition is scheduled to take place in Colombia.