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News | April 30, 2024

Infantería Marina de Armada Paraguaya hosted U.S. Marines to plan future training, build security cooperation

By Gunnery Sgt. Daniel Wetzel Marine Corps Forces South

In a move to increase collaboration and partnership, the Comando Infantería Marina de Armada Paraguaya (COMIM) hosted members of U.S. Marine Corps Forces, South, for collaborative planning between militaries from April 8 -11.

The Staff-planning Working Group, held in the city of Asunción, Paraguay, marks an important step in continuing and bolstering the relationship between the Paraguayan Marine Infantry and the U.S. Marine Corps. Officials from both sides emphasized the importance of maintaining a strong partnership to increase regional security in the Western Hemisphere.

“This is the first step in the right direction in reestablishing relationships,” said Contra-almirante (Paraguayan rear admiral) Albino Bogarin Flor, commander of COMIM.

For MARFORSOUTH, staff-planning working groups with partner nations are routine business. For Paraguay, this marks a change in the relationship as the U.S. Marine Corps wants to establish a 5-year plan to build training objectives and personnel exchanges with Paraguay that start with assessments and hope to lead to bi-lateral training exercises.

While the two Marine Corps have not conducted many bi-lateral exercises, they participate together in the multi-lateral exercise UNITAS annually.

“This is about fostering and building relationships through the entire planning process and execution of our training,” said Col. Jason A. Borovies, operations director for MARFORSOUTH. “A more expansive bilateral military relationship between Paraguay Marine Infantry and the United States Marine Corps can significantly enhance security in the region.”

Paraguay’s marine infantry has a particular mission that reflects the geographical nature of the country. As a land-locked country, Paraguay accesses the ocean through the tri-border area with Argentina and Brazil where the Iguazú and Paraná rivers converge. With that, part of Paraguay’s marine infantry’s mission includes coastal defense functions through riverine operations. Additionally, they provide augmentations to prison security, law enforcement and crowd control.

“We can learn to fit our objectives and strategies together, much like a puzzle,” said Paraguayan Capitán de navío (Navy captain) Livio Alberto Duarte Romero, chief of general staff of COMIM.

The two Marine Corps discussed how to strengthen security in the western hemisphere by enhancing interoperability and coordination between the United States and Paraguay, deterring potential threats from transnational criminal organizations, facilitating information sharing, fostering regional stability, and improving responses to humanitarian crises and disasters.

The Paraguayan Marine Infantry is part of their Navy and has about 800 marines, of which 400 are assigned to one commando unit with the rest being organized into a single battalion consisting of three companies.

MARFORSOUTH is the Service component of U.S. Southern Command, responsible for all U.S. Marine activity in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. MARFORSOUTH provides contingency planning, operations, and security cooperation plans to deter aggression, defeat threats, rapidly respond to crises, and build regional capacity, working with our allies, partner nations, and U.S. government team members to enhance security and help defend the U.S. homeland and our national interests.

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WHO WE ARE: Marine Forces South is the U.S. Marine Corps component of U.S. Southern Command, responsible for building partnerships to counter threats and increase interoperability in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. We build capabilities, capacity and readiness with key partner nations through a range of military engagements and other security cooperation events to demonstrate the value and utility of the Navy and Marine Corps team. We cultivate partnerships across the region to promote the rule of law, which is essential for security, stability, economic prosperity, and personal liberty.

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