As the final salute echoed through the air, the closing ceremony of Southern Vanguard 24 signified a note of triumph and unity. After almost three weeks of training, the U.S. and Brazil armies stood together one final time in Oiapoque, Brazil, Nov. 16.
The ceremony not only celebrated the successful completion of the exercise but also highlighted the bonds forged between allied forces.
“While today marks the official end of this exercise, we will continue to look towards future training opportunities and engagements,” Maj. Gen. William Thigpen, U.S. Army South commanding general, declared while reinforcing the continuation of partnership between the two countries.
Flags from Brazil and the United States billowed in the wind alongside the CORE 23 flag, a visual representation of the collaborative spirit that permeated every facet of Southern Vanguard 24.
“Southern Vanguard continues to be a remarkable example of enduring partnerships that are built on trust and shared commitment to provide a safe and secure Western Hemisphere,” Thigpen affirmed.
During the closing ceremony, Maj. Gen. William Thigpen gave recognition to the exceptional performance, adaptability, and teamwork the units and individuals demonstrated throughout the exercise.
“You have trained hard, deployed across the theater, and overcome numerous challenges,” he reassured both armies. “You are all a shining example of what is possible when partners dedicate their time, talents, and expertise to accomplish one common objective.”
The applause and cheers from the crowd resonated with pride, underscoring the shared commitment to excellence that unites the multinational participants.
Brazilian Army Gen. Luciano Guilherme, the Military Command Northern (CMN) commander, took the stage to share his thoughts on the significance of Southern Vanguard 24. He emphasized the importance of such joint exercises in enhancing interoperability among allied forces, ultimately contributing to security and stability in the region.
“It was a successful military exercise with gains in knowledge and consistent operational results” Guilherme declared. “Everything was executed with accuracy and security, proving the professional value of each soldier.”
Guilherme also acknowledged the challenges faced and overcome during the exercise, highlighting the valuable lessons learned and the opportunities for continuous improvement in future joint operations.
“I am sure that all of you experienced firsthand the challenges of this unique operational environment, with characteristics that pose challenges for any warrior,” he said. “I can see that the participants enjoyed every moment, overcoming the simulated military challenges and problems presented to them. Congratulations!”
Southern Vanguard 24 not only strengthened military capabilities but also fostered international camaraderie, leaving an indelible mark on the participants and reinforced the notion that together, nations stand stronger in the pursuit of peace and security.
“As the commander of U.S. Army South over the past two years, I have witnessed the strengthening of our bonds as we work together countering threats and improving interoperability when we come together for combined exercises,” Thigpen said. “Southern Vanguard 24 affirms that working together is our greatest advantage when it comes to long-term competition with adversaries that seek to undermine our shared values and security.”