MIAMI – Brazilian Air Force Lt. Gen. David Almeida-Alcoforado bid farewell to U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) March 23 after completing a two-year tour as Brazil’s first general staff officer working on the command’s staff.
Alcoforado began his tour as the Partner Nation Deputy to the Director of J5 (Strategy, Policy, and Plans Directorate) on Feb. 19, 2022. He arrived in the earliest months of the COVID-19 pandemic and witnessed significant humanitarian crises, including back-to-back hurricanes and an earthquake.
Alcoforado recalled his “most remarkable experiences were real operations during two major hurricanes (Eta/Iota) in Central America and a major earthquake in Haiti. I was here to see everything.”
Most remarkable to him was “how swiftly the command could attend and support the populations in need. How all the logistical support and humanitarian assistance missions were accomplished.”
One of his most important highlights was how U.S. Navy Adm. Craig Faller, former SOUTHCOM commander, navigated through the pandemic. “For me, it was a very important lesson. I learned a lot from Admiral Faller and his strong leadership, how he directed his team, in a safe way, through the endeavor.”
When speaking about the opportunity to be the first Brazilian general officer to work on SOUTHCOM’s staff, he described the opportunity as “a new approach in terms of partnership with our countries.” He recognized that it “is challenging for the command to have [Partner Nation] Flag Officers working within its staff, but we must take advantage to strengthen our partnership.”
Alcoforado departs with three major learning points. Most notable to him were the importance of integration between agencies, partners, and allies; the importance of partnership, how partnership matters in the day-to-day here; and the importance of Special Programs like Women’s Peace and Security, Gender Equality, and Enlisted Professional Development.
Alcoforado’s successor, Brazilian Navy Rear Adm. José Achilles A J Teixeira, officially arrived March 14, 2022.
Teixeira previously worked in Washington, D.C., serving as Chief of the Hemispheric Cooperation Division of the Inter-American Defense Board, and Brazil’s alternate delegate for the Inter-American Defense Board.
He characterized his new assignment as the Partner Nation Deputy to the Director of J5, as “an opportunity to strengthen our partnership between Brazil and the U.S.”
He added, “This partnership for us is very important.”