JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas —
U.S. Army South hosted bilateral staff talks with Chilean army leaders June 24-28 at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston to promote the professional partnership and interaction between the two armies.
"I come to the staff talks with great expectations," said Col. Darrin Bowser, Army South deputy chief of staff for logistics and the U.S. head of delegation for the staff talks. "The ideas and strategies generated in our discussion this week will help expand and deepen our defense partnership. The staff talks program is one of the many ways in which cooperation between the United States and Chile contributes to the advancement of our individual and shared goals."
Bowser said that the staff talks provides both countries a great opportunity to exchange information and explore possibilities for initiatives, exercises, and training events similar to an upcoming exercise between U.S. Army South and the Chilean army.
The partner army leaders work together throughout the weeklong staff talks to discuss and develop issues and objectives that ultimately result in agreed-to-actions in order to strengthen partner nation relationships, develop collaborative solutions to regional problems and outline the engagement plan for the upcoming year.
"The staff talks are very important to us in many different ways," said Chilean Army Col. Luis Cortes, the Chilean head of delegation. "We were able to build upon our interoperability but also discuss in detail some of the issues that we face including logistics, sustainment, cyber security and training challenges that we can work together on with the U.S. Army."
U.S. Army South is the Army's executive agent for army-to-army staff talks with partner nation armies in Latin America. The Army currently conducts staff talks with several additional nations in the region to include Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador and Peru.
On the final day of the staff talks Bowser and Cortes signed an agreed-to-actions agreement between the two armies.
"Five days of professionals working together and I can say that we feel as Chilean officers that we have done our best," Cortes said. "We look forward to these upcoming exercises and recognize their importance for our partnership."
While saying their farewells, Bowser and Cortes both agreed that they are very happy to continue working together as they strengthen their mutual partnership through successful events. This will help build a defense relationship that both nations value greatly.
"Through this cooperation, our friendship is strengthened," Bowser said.