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Press Release | Dec. 11, 2020

SOUTHCOM Commander Visits, Thanks Troops Who Supported Relief Effort In Aftermath Of Hurricanes Eta, Iota

SOTO CANO AIR BASE, Honduras –U.S. Navy Adm. Craig Faller visited troops assigned to Joint Task Force-Bravo (JTF-Bravo) in Honduras Dec. 11, personally thanking them for supporting rescue and relief operations in Central America after the region was ravaged by two powerful hurricanes.

“Last time I was with you all, I mentioned that you all should be ready when you're called to action,” Faller told the troops. "The call came, and you answered it … JTF-Bravo did an amazing job, and I want to thank you all!”

“We asked you to go do some pretty tough things in some really tough conditions,” he added. “You did it safely. You did it effectively.”

The task force announced the completion of its rapid-response support of foreign humanitarian assistance and disaster-relief operations led by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Dec. 2. During the operation, task force troops and aircraft rescued 810 disaster victims, transported 163 rescue and aid workers, and moved nearly 350,000 pounds of food, water, hygiene kits, and other life-saving aid urgently needed in devastated areas. The task force also transported nearly 564,000 pounds of relief supplies in support of the USAID-led humanitarian response to the region.

In November, hurricanes Eta and Iota left a path of destruction and life-threatening conditions in their wake after impacting several countries in Central America. In the immediate aftermath, the U.S. government received diplomatic requests for disaster assistance from governments in the region, and the task force quickly mobilized to support rescue and relief efforts in Honduras, Guatemala and Panamá.

Faller visited Panama Dec. 9-10, where he took part in a bilateral High Level Security Dialogue with Panamanian President Laurentino Cortizo and the country’s top public-security leaders. The Admiral also took part in a donation ceremony, where he and U.S. Chargé d’ Affaires Stewart Tuttle gave Panamanian authorities personal protective equipment and a field hospital purchased by SOUTHCOM as part of its Humanitarian Assistance Program to assist Panama’s ongoing response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Before visiting the task force, Adm. Faller attended a military ceremony in Tegucigalpa hosted by the Honduran Armed Forces to celebrate the nation’s Army Day and the anniversary of the Honduran Army’s formation almost two centuries ago.

SOUTHCOM is one of the nation’s six geographically-focused unified commands with responsibility for U.S. military operations in the Caribbean, Central America and South America, as well as security cooperation with defense and public-security forces in the region.


Additional information:

Infographic, JTF-Bravo support to rescue and relief efforts following hurricanes Eta and Iota

Infographic, USAID-led humanitarian response to hurricanes Eta and Iota

Fact sheet, Joint Task Force-Bravo

SOUTHCOM-funded assistance to the region’s COVID-19 pandemic response

Biography, U.S. Navy Adm. Craig Faller, commander of U.S. Southern Command