Joint Task Force-Bravo, a unit under the U.S. Southern Command and based out of Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras, will conduct exercise Keel Billed Toucan in locations across Panama from May 9-12.
KBT is based on a humanitarian assistance and disaster response scenario.
Training will include several U.S. Army aircraft, including CH-47 Chinook and HH-60 and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters to support flight operations, as well as a U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules cargo aircraft for initial supply transport. These aircraft may been seen prior to the start of the exercise as they position troops and equipment.
As part of KBT, there will also be two Medical Readiness Training Exercises (MEDRETEs), enabling our medics to provide care to Panamanians in the Chepigana District.
JTF-Bravo routinely trains for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and can rapidly respond with its unique airlift capabilities to save lives and mitigate suffering in the immediate aftermath of natural disasters. Frequent exercises with our partners through Central America enable us to strengthen our abilities and partnerships, as we’ve done since the 1980s.
Photos of the aircraft being loaded prior to leaving Soto Cano Air Base can be seen at https://www.facebook.com/JointTaskForceBravo or https://www.dvidshub.net/unit/JTF-B (a free account will be needed to download high-resolution versions from this site).
Being pre-positioned in the region allows JTF-Bravo to rapidly respond to crises, including natural disasters occurring in rapid succession. The frequency of natural disasters impacting Central America highlights the importance of cooperation and training.
As part of U.S. SOUTHCOM’s enduring promise to its regional partners, JTF-Bravo continues to work with our U.S. government teammates, allies and partners in the region to provide rapid support and services, when requested.