“We’re getting ready to send some brigade commanders who have been in Iraq and Afghanistan down here to partner with their Joint Task Force commanders in a leader developmental function,” said Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey. “The challenges they face are not unlike the challenges we’ve faced in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he added.
The U.S. officers plan to meet with their Colombian counterparts for two weeks, and Dempsey insisted both parties would learn from each other.
Following a two-day visit, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman left Colombia impressed with the senior commanders he had met.
“They had a remarkably coherent vision of where they are today to where they need to be,” he said.
Dempsey met with Colombia’s Joint Task Force Vulcano, a new inter-agency force specifically aimed at defeating the FARC, Latin America’s oldest guerrilla organization. The task force aims to cut the rebel groups’ membership in half by 2014, revealed Dempsey.
During the meeting, Colombian army officials highlighted the biggest challenges facing their future, including border security, infrastructure protection, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance efforts.
Dempsey highlighted some areas that the Colombian military needs to improve, saying, “The army has become fixed to an extent, and part of the strategy is to reintroduce mobile forces.”
Colombia recently struck two major blows against the FARC, bombing encampments in two separate incidents which killed 33 suspected guerrillas in northern Arauca Department on March 21, and 36 more in central Cauca Department five days later.