DVIDS – News – Georgia NG Advisors building relationships in Colombia

The Fort Benning-based Georgia Army National Guard Team 6120, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 54th Security Forces Brigade, 648th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade deployed to Tolemaida Military Base, Colombia, Oct. 30-Nov. 18, 2022 to conduct the exercise to support and participate in Southern Vanguard 23.

Southern Vanguard 23 is an annual exercise conducted by US Army South under the responsibility of US Southern Command that trains units at the operational and tactical levels to increase coordination between US and Western Hemisphere forces, in this case Colombia to enhance.

A Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB) is a specialized unit of the United States Army formed to conduct Security Force Assistance (SFA) missions: to advise, support, connect and evaluate operations at a level to Enable operations with allied and partner nations. SFABs are intended to ease the burden of such operations on U.S. special forces organizations following extended SFA missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and allow them to focus on training and operations with elite allied and partner national units.

“Team 6120’s focus for Southern Vanguard is to increase the Colombian Army’s ability and capacity to lead mission commands at the operational and tactical level of the battalion,” said Maj. Chris Dumais, commander and team leader of Team 6120. “Our advisor has developed a combined staff training plan focused on the seven-stage NATO operational planning process and direct support during a combined task force exercise.”

As a result of the Advisor’s Security Forces support efforts to build the institutional knowledge for the Colombian Army to support future multinational, regional and combined/joint tactical level interoperability between Colombian allies and partner nations. Overall, in line with the U.S. Embassy Bogota’s Integrated Country Strategy, Team 6120’s goal is for U.S. Forces to be the partner of choice in future training and potential operations for the Colombian Army.

SFAB Team 6120 is a 12-strong team composed of maneuver, fire, intelligence, explosive threat and support experts embedded in the Colombian Army to enhance its ability to work with the US, NATO and partner nations to enhance.

The primary focus of the SFABs during the exercise is to support the Colombian’s ability to perform command and control duties of their armed forces throughout the exercise.

“Our combined level of experience working in forward environments and our level of training provide the Colombians with subject matter experts who enhance their ability to combine forces,” said Sgt. 1st Class Hector Umaña, Corporal Operations, Team 6120.”

In addition, the SFAB validates the Colombian soldier’s communication plan at the tactical level and uses new command and control devices such as the CivTak (Civilian Tactical Awareness Kit) to improve the situational awareness of platoon and squad leaders. The ability to understand and anticipate the operational picture helps leaders understand the operational picture and can take disciplined initiatives in the absence of orders from above.

“The ability to use CivTak and validate their communications procedures ensures that commanders at all levels have the correct information,” said Sgt. 1st Class Thomas Davant, Fire Safety Advisor, Team 6120. “It ensures they have a have a common company image.”

The partnership between the US and Colombian Armed Forces dates back to the Korean War nearly 70 years ago, when the Colombian Battalion (an infantry battalion of the Colombian Army that served under United Nations command during the 1951-1954 Korean War) was the first Colombian military was unit intended to serve in Asia, was attached to the US 7th Infantry Division and the US 25th Infantry Division under the Eighth Army. There we fought and sacrificed to defend our ally’s freedom. The Colombian battalion suffered 163 killed, 448 wounded, 60 missing and 30 captured over the course of the conflict.

One of Team 6120’s primary missions is to ensure tactical-level partnerships and improve relationships between the US military and the Colombian Armed Forces. Team 6120 has deployed team-level members of the Colombian Army to accomplish this.

“Colombian soldiers are definitely interested in our field experience over the past twenty years, and we’re learning how they operate at a tactical level in decentralized environments,” said Staff Sgt. Jose Hernandez, Explosive Hazard Advisor, Team 6120. “They’re some of the most professional and most dedicated partner forces I have had the pleasure of working with.”

Date of recording: 12/11/2022
Release Date: 13.11.2022 18:20
Story ID: 433170

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