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Marines provide guidance and mentorship to Republic of Honduras Marines

US Marine Corps News

7/13/2011 By Gunnery Sgt. Alexis R. Mulero, Marine Corps Training and Advisory Group

LA CEIBA, Honduras — Seven Marines from Marine Corps Training and Advisory Group supported Marine Corps Forces, South by conducting a tactical assessment of the Republic of Honduras’ First Marine Infantry Battalion (Batallon de Infanteria Marina – (BIM) capabilities from June 6 – 10 and a three-day leadership seminar for their (BIM) noncommissioned officers from June 13-15.

During the assessment, the team focused their efforts on the six warfighting functions of command and control, intelligence, maneuver, fires, logistics and force protection.

“This assessment was conducted to get an understanding of their current capabilities for the purpose of building a long-term plan to improve those capabilities,” said Gunnery Sgt. Lonnie Buckner, Staff-Noncommissioned Officer in charge of the team. “It is in the best interest of both our nations to build a solid relationship so we can increase the security foundation for a stable, prosperous and democratic institution.”

This was the first tactical assessment conducted by a MCTAG Coordination Liaison and Assessment Team (CLAT) in support of a regional MARFOR since the CLAT stood up a little less than a year ago.

The CLAT at MCTAG was created to assist regional MARFORs in partner nation assessment, training/development plans and to establish and maintain long-term relationships with country military group team and militaries.

“It was a great experience for us to conduct this first assessment as the CLAT representing Marine Corps Forces, South,” said Buckner, who is a Marion, Ohio native. “It provided us an opportunity for us to validate our assessment matrix, which is the foundation for a tactical level assessment. We look forward to using this experience to refine our process so we can best support Combatant Commanders and our partner nations.”

All in all, it was a win-win situation for all those involved.

“The welcome, respect and cooperation that the assessment team received by the BIM was absolutely top-notch,” said Lt. Col. William Truax, officer-in-charge, CLAT, MCTAG, and Mooreland Hills, Ohio native. “From the moment we arrived we were treated as honored guests and everyone we spoke to went out of their way to help us help them. It was a great experience with a very professional force.”

“We appreciate the assistance the U.S. Marines provided us during the last week,” said Capt. Nelson Varela, commanding officer of the BIM. “We look up to you (U.S. Marine Corps) as the world’s foremost fighting force. We are very grateful for the time you spent with us.”

U.S. Marine Corps Forces, South (MARFORSOUTH) is the U. S. Marine Corps Service Component Command for United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM). MARFORSOUTH commands all Marine forces assigned to Commander SOUTHCOM; advises the Commander SOUTHCOM on the proper employment and support of Marine forces; conducts deployment/redeployment planning and execution of assigned/attached Marine forces; and accomplishes other operational missions as assigned.

MARFORSOUTH partners with Latin American Marines, Naval Infantries, and Maritime Security Forces to conduct a wide range of training and exercises to include anti-terrorism, peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions. MARFORSOUTH helps establish SOUTHCOM's maritime domain awareness, as well as, build partner nation capabilities in common security objectives.

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