Magazine article National Defense

Southcom Partnering Up to Combat Threats

Magazine article National Defense

Southcom Partnering Up to Combat Threats

Article excerpt

* U.S. Southern Command is developing new networks in an effort to combat illicit activity in its area of responsibility, its commander said recently.

Southcom Commander Adm. Kurt Tidd announced that the combatant command--which covers Central and South America and the Caribbean--recently invited its regional partner-nation liaison officers to participate in weekly intelligence briefings. He called the development "a major first," as the meetings were historically closed to foreign officers--even those serving at Southcom's headquarters, he said during remarks at the Atlantic Council, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank.

The invitation recognizes that more cooperation is needed across borders to address new and existing transnational threats, he said.

"I've asked that we do a better job of empowering our team, including our partner-nation liaison officers, with knowledge ... that when applied in a cohesive manner, will make us all more effective in defending our shared home," he said.

The multinational exercise Panamax--which tests regional forces' collective ability to defend the Panama Canal--ran July 25 through Aug. 4 in Florida and was seen as a way to improve interoperability among partner states, Tidd said. For the first time, all of the forces were led by Chile, Colombia, Peru and Brazil, instead of the United States.

Southcom is also exploring ways to share access to cutting-edge research, new technologies and health system capabilities with its partner states "to ensure every partner can detect, prevent and respond" to regional health epidemics, natural disasters or conflict, Tidd said. …

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