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    First Colombian JSOFSEA graduate poised to continue partnership with the U.S.

    First Colombian JSOFSEA graduate poised to continue partnership with the U.S.

    Photo By Sgt. 1st Class Victor Aguirre | Colombian 1st Sgt. Hector Ospina attends his graduation ceremony virtually from the...... read more read more

    Colombian Army soldiers routinely attend military courses within the continental United States. However, no Colombian Soldier has ever attended the Joint Special Operations Forces Senior Enlisted Academy at the Joint Special Operations University.
    First Sgt. Hector Ospina, an Instruction and Training Non-Commissioned Officer, became the first Colombian soldier to graduate from the JSOFSEA, on September 11, 2020. JSOFSEA Class #39 of 57 students graduated virtually due to COVID-19’s impact on travel.
    “At first, I was apprehensive when I was accepted to the academy as it is prominent in Colombia and I would be representing the Colombian military and my country abroad,” said Ospina. “But with the support of my leadership and my U.S. partners, I was confident I would do well.”
    JSOFSEA bridges the gap from individual to organizational leadership by incorporating system thinking frameworks along with critical, creative, and ethical examination into highly developed approaches to solving complex problems.
    “You are the critical element of profession of arms responsible for ensuring the application of standards, to develop our force to meet the challenges of the future,” said Doctor Isaiah Wilson, president of JSOU, as he addressed the graduating class.
    The JSOFSEA curriculum builds on foundational concepts by examining the joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational environment and provides a whole government approach to operations. Students evaluate the nesting of operational plans and policy within higher strategic guidance.
    “The knowledge of how U.S. Special Operations Forces operates, strategies they utilize, and experiences in the JIIM environment at a global level are awe-inspiring,” said Ospina. “The course material and experiences of instructors and students immensely helps senior enlisted personnel understand how NCO’s empowerment is beneficial for the organization.”
    Since the 1990s, USSOF have been working closely with Colombian partners to counter narco-trafficking operations and to bring stability in the region. Economic instability in neighboring Venezuela pours into Colombia, compounding their security concerns as the Venezuelan government depends on narco-trafficking and foreign state actors for support.
    “A significant amount of illicit economies in the region are based on drug trafficking, which provides terrorist organizations with the resources to sustain themselves, cause harm to a country's civilian population, and export violence throughout the region,” said Ospina. “The U.S.’s access to technology and experience that the USSOF have is very broad and valuable in fighting illicit economies in the region and worldwide.”
    USSOF works closely with partner nation forces in Central, South America, and the Caribbean on a myriad of issues to build interoperability and trust. Relations that USSOF build are both operational and personal.
    “Ospina and I communicate on a weekly basis to talk about his papers and grades. He sends me a text on Fridays with his paper scores and the next week topics,” said 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) Green Beret Sgt. Maj. Tony Perez. “We review Ospina’s papers to which I provide him feedback and give him pointers on how to write his next paper.”
    In the U.S. military, NCOs are considered the backbone of the Army. NCOs coach and mentor subordinates in achieving tactical objectives so officers can focus operational and strategic goals. NCOs are in the middle between soldiers and officers requiring them to seamlessly operate between the tactical, operation, and strategic level.
    “While working in the JIIM environment, I have seen how other countries rely heavily on their officers,” said Perez. “NCOs are the mid-level management and leadership, we provide task and purpose to the enlisted force, motivate them, and give them direction to execute what needs to be accomplish.”
    JSOFSEA provides its graduates the knowledge and skillsets necessary for operating in the JIIM environment through understanding how the profession of arms, organizational leadership and organizational communication achieve mission success.
    “The knowledge and experience in this course will help me mentor my soldiers how unity of effort in the JIIM environment contributes to our operational objectives,” said Ospina. “I will also stress the importance of their professional development to attain the skills necessary to operate in the JIIM environment.”
    USSOF are often requested as advisors to assist in developing national security strategies, provide specialized training to governmental agencies, or assist in humanitarian support.
    “I have been working with USSOF for twenty years conducting counter-narcotic operations and special reconnaissance,” said Ospina. “The U.S.’s strategy has provided security and humanitarian aid to many countries that fight against illegal drug trafficking.”
    USSOF also works with the United States Agency for International Development and U.S. embassies to provide unity of effort assistance to partner nations around the world.
    “USAID's support benefit the population and improve the conditions of physical, food, and economic security which are impressive,” said Ospina. “It helps to remove the population's support from criminal organizations and creates a peace and prosperity framework.”
    Colombia has been an important U.S. strategic partner for more than 30 years. U.S. and Colombian governments have closely worked shoulder to shoulder in many areas to include economic trade, combating narcotic trafficking, and building of partner capacity to eradicate drugs, terrorist activities, solidify security cooperation, and strengthen their economic posture.



    Date Taken: 09.11.2020
    Date Posted: 10.27.2020 11:25
    Story ID: 381811
    Location: US

    Web Views: 161
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