MACAPA, Brazil –
Brazilian and U.S. Army Soldiers and civilian planners from U.S. Army South and the New York Army National Guard concluded the initial planning conference for exercise Southern Vanguard 24 held Dec 5-8, 2022.
The four-day planning conference, held in the northern region of Brazil, was aimed at identifying and refining training scenarios, logistical requirements and training objectives for the forthcoming bilateral event that will take place in the fall of 2023. Based on the complexity and scale of this exercise, planning began years in advance of the execution.
“Jungle terrain is the most ferocious terrain on the face of the earth,” said Master Sgt. Rob Mitchell, Army South G-7 Training and Exercises noncommissioned officer in charge. “When we come down here and train face-to-face, we create lifelong relationships with each other, and we learn how they apply tactics in a different terrain than what U.S. Soldiers are used to.”
Army South, the executive planning agent of Southern Vanguard 24, and the New York National Guard, Brazil’s state partner, brought several planners from various warfighting functions to work alongside their Brazilian army counterparts during the IPC.
“Combatant Commands across the board are realizing (the state partnership program) is an untapped resource that is available to them to enhance relationships on the diplomatic side,” said Maj. Melanie Padilla, New York Army National Guard state planner.
Brazilian army Maj. Rafael Penteado, G3 North Military Command explained why this type of planning is important.
Southern Vanguard is a U.S. Southern Command-sponsored, U.S. Army South-conducted exercise at the operational and tactical levels designed to increase interoperability between U.S. and Western Hemisphere forces. Southern Vanguard 24, which will occur in the Fall of 2023, is aimed at improving combined readiness between U.S. Army and Brazilian army forces.
In December 2021, over 900 Brazilian and U.S. Army Soldiers conducted Southern Vanguard 22 in Lorena, São Paulo, Brazil, which was the largest U.S. element to conduct combined training with Brazil since World War II.