News: Task Force Jaguar off and running
Story by Tech. Sgt. Mark Wyatt
SONSONATE, El Salvador – After months of preparation, Joint Task Force Jaguar arrived in El Salvador along with more than 75 other service members to finalize plans in-country for the comprehensive joint exercise, Beyond the Horizon El Salvador 2013.
The effort of operations right now is ensuring the Task Force is prepared to meet mission requirements once units begin arriving.
“Our primary focus right now is preparing our life support system set-up and getting our operations set-up so when rotational units begin arriving we can hit the ground running,” said Lt. Col. Raymond Valas, Joint Task Force Jaguar commander. “There are folks working all day and well into the night to get this place operational. We have moved nearly a hundred pieces of cargo from the port to up here to DM6 [Military Detachment 6] over the past week, which is no small feat.”
Doing all that is a difficult process that requires a great deal of coordination by operations personnel.
“The J3 staff is occupied ensuring containers and personnel are coordinated successfully,” said Sgt. 1st Class Robert Szczepkowski, Operations noncommissioned officer. “Right now, personnel safety and successful transfer of containers are of the highest priority.”
Beyond the Horizon is a U.S. Southern Command-sponsored, U.S. Army South-planned and led annual humanitarian and civic assistance exercise. The exercise provides construction and medical assistance to partner nations throughout the Central and South America and Caribbean region.
The exercise generally takes place in rural, underprivileged areas and is a major component of the U.S. military's regional engagement efforts and it affords a unique opportunity to train U.S. service members alongside partner nation personnel, while providing needed services to communities throughout the region.