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NEWS | Oct. 27, 2017

Army South takes part in first international engineer workshop held in Colombia

By Sgt. Summer Woode U.S. Army South Public Affairs

Engineers from the Brazilian Army and U.S. Army South spoke at the first International Technical Workshop on Military Engineering in Bogota, Colombia, Oct. 21.


The engagement was held at the prestigious Escuela Militar de Cadetes, or ESMIC, General Jose Maria Cordova and hosted by the Colombian Army.  The school is considered to be the “West Point” of the Colombian Army and trains, educates future combatant officers and engineers.


The purpose of the workshop was to brief military and civilian engineers’ roles to country infrastructure development and disaster relief missions.


The audience, which also included engineering students from the local university, consisted of young, eager minds hoping to impact the civilian and military sectors.


Lt. Col. Brennan Wallace, U.S. Army South Assistant Chief of Staff Engineering, felt that same hopeful impact.


“I hope they walk away with an understanding of U.S. Army engineer capabilities and that we’re very proud to be partners with the Colombian Army,” Wallace said.


He not only spoke on U.S. capabilities, but also how they contributed to military operations and infrastructure throughout history.


“It felt fantastic,” Wallace said. “It was just an outstanding opportunity. I am very impressed by the engineering operations that are going on in Colombia.”


The U.S. Army and the Colombian Army are familiar with working together for the betterment.  South Carolina National Guard and Republic of Colombia have been paired together since 2012, as part of the National Guard’s State Partnership Program. 


Engineers from both armies recently came together to exchange ideas on the improvement of the Acrow Bridge, currently used by the Colombian army.  The South Carolina National Guard plans to use the bridge for crossing operations.  


According to ESMIC leadership, it is partnership experiences, like the Acrow Bridge, that the students will encounter when they enter the field as professionals.


Col. Oscar Rodrigo Moreno, ESMIC academic director, believes it is important for the cadets and students to have a workshop that gives insight to their chosen careers.


“This kind of academic event is a big improvement and motivation for all students that are studying engineering,” Moreno said.


“The speakers give an overview of how it will be to work with other military engineers in the Army and other armed forces.”


With nearly 200 participants, Moreno hopes to expand the workshop in the future.


“We expect in the coming year, to bring more events and invite more participants to help understand the importance of the engineering capabilities in the country,” Moreno said.