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News | May 20, 2024

70th Anniversary of the United States and Honduras’ partnership

By Capt. Dorothy Sherwood Joint Task Force-Bravo Public Affairs

It was on this day 70 years ago — May 20, 1954, that the United States and Honduras signed a bilateral military assistance agreement at Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

The treaty begins, “Conscious of their pledges under the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance and other international instruments to assist any American State subjected to an armed attack and to act together for the common defense and for the maintenance of the peace and security of the Western Hemisphere.”

For the past 70 years, the U.S. and Honduras partnership has done just that.  

A photo of an control tower.
70th Anniversary of the United States and Honduras’ partnership
A view of a helicopter landing pad and control tower built in support of Joint Task Force-Bravo at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras, Oct. 24, 1986. On May 6, 1982, the U.S. and Honduras added an Annex to the May 20, 1954, treaty agreement to improve constructed facilities at aerial ports to be used for military aircraft, like Soto Cano Air Base. (U.S. courtesy photo from National Archives)
Photo By: Capt. Dorothy Sherwood
VIRIN: 861024-F-ZZ000-1001

This collective security agreement has stood the test of time with both militaries still conducting exercises together since 1965 and has been able to maintain the peace and security of the Western Hemisphere.  

“We have built a long lasting, trusted partnership with Honduras because of our shared interests in cooperation and interoperability,” said U.S. Army Gen. Laura Richardson, U.S. Southern Command’s commander. “The U.S. military has an enduring presence in Honduras to support that partnership, and to promote peace, prosperity, and democratic values across the region.”

On May 6, 1982, the two governments added an Annex to the agreement to improve constructed facilities at aerial ports to be used for military aircraft.

One such aerial port identified was Palmerola in the valley of Comayagua. This aerial port was agreed upon to be used by both Honduras and U.S. militaries for fuel, maintenance, and equipment for aircraft and to accommodate personnel. 

This Annex started the pathway for Soto Cano Air Base, the former Palmerola Air Base. The base was renamed in October 1988 in honor of General Jose Enrique Soto Cano, an aviator in the Honduran Air Force.  

A photo of people unloading aid.
70th Anniversary of the United States and Honduras’ partnership
In partnership with Honduran forces, Joint Task Force-Bravo and local citizens unload humanitarian aid food and supply items from a CH-47 Chinook in Wampisurpi, Honduras, Nov. 30, 2020. JTF-Bravo conducted aerial operations in response to Hurricane Iota. The U.S.-Honduras partnership is mutually reinforcing and beneficial in ensuring stability against aggression, building partner-nation capacity and responding side-by-side to natural disasters. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Chris Drzazgowski)
Photo By: Tech. Sgt. Christopher Drzazgows
VIRIN: 201130-F-OF524-0040

“The most important thing is the relationship between the military forces of both countries, who have been allies for many years,” said Lt. Col. Dulce Maria Vasquez Amador, Soto Cano Air Base commander.

Soto Cano Air Base has become a staple in Central America and a home to the DoD’s Joint Task Force-Bravo and to hundreds of Honduran military members.

“I consider that the most important aspects between Joint Task Force-Bravo and the Honduran Air Force is the alliance, cooperation, coordination of logistical support, and mutual support in both security and training,” said Vasquez. “Also, the support to air operations during natural disasters and humanitarian aid.”  

The U.S.-Honduras partnership is mutually reinforcing and beneficial in ensuring stability against aggression, building partner-nation capacity and responding side-by-side to natural disasters.

The U.S. military is stronger than ever through collaboration for the past 70 years with Honduras, and together this relationship will continue to build strong partnerships with other nations in the region. 

A photo of military members in front of aircraft.
70th Anniversary of the United States and Honduras’ partnership
U.S. Army Col. Paul Witkowski, Army Support Activity Commander, and Honduran Air Force Lt. Col. Dulce Maria Vasquez Amador, Soto Cano Air Base Commander, pose for a photo in front of U.S. Army and Honduran Air Force aircraft on the two nations' shared flightline at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras, May 16, 2024. The U.S.-Honduras partnership is mutually reinforcing and beneficial in ensuring stability against aggression, building partner-nation capacity and responding side-by-side to natural disasters. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Dorothy Sherwood)
Photo By: Capt. Dorothy Sherwood
VIRIN: 240516-F-IA267-1021

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