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Army South strengthens partnership with Chilean army

January 23, 2012

By U.S. Army South Public Affairs

FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (Jan. 23, 2012) -- U.S. Army South's commanding general traveled to Chile as part of Army South's effort to build partner nation capacity through engagement and personal exchanges.

Maj. Gen. Simeon G. Trombitas, the Army South commanding general, accompanied by Chilean Col. Luis R. Chamorro, a foreign liaison officer assigned to U.S. Army South's headquarters here, made the visit to Chile this past December.

The purpose of the visit was to strengthen bilateral relations and visit Chilean army installations in southern Chile to expand the understanding of the operational environment.

"Strong regional partnerships enable U.S. Army South and partner nation armies to enhance hemispheric stability and security," said Trombitas. "There is strength in partnership and the Chilean army is one of our strongest allies."

During the week-long trip Trombitas visited with Gen. Juan Miguel Fuente-Alba, the Chilean army commander, Lt. Gen. Bosco Pesse, the Chilean army Education and Doctrine Command commander, Maj. Gen. Alejandro Arancibia, the Chilean army International Relations Division director, Maj. Gen. Alberto Gonzalez, the Chilean army secretary general, and Maj. Gen. Luis Zegpi, the Chilean army V Division commander.

Chamorro said the visit was important to the Chilean leaders as well.

"The U.S. Army is one of our closest partners and maintaining a strong bilateral relationship with them is a top priority," said Chamorro. "During the past few years, our relationship has grown into a close friendship in which we're able to talk frankly about common security challenges."

Trombitas toured the Chilean Education and Doctrine Command, the Chilean army V Division headquarters, and the Reinforced Regiment No. 5 "Lanceros" headquarters.

"During his visit to each installation, Major General Trombitas had the opportunity to learn more about the way we plan the instruction and the training of Chilean soldiers by seeing it firsthand," said Chamorro.

Overall, the visit was essential according to Trombitas and the Chilean army leadership.

"The stability and security of the U.S. and partner nations hinge upon our ability to work together to address common security challenges," said Trombitas. "Personal contact with partner nation army leaders strengthens our bonds and makes us more effective than before."

"The Chilean commanders who had the opportunity to interact with Major General Trombitas considered his visit a success and benefit to both of our armies," said Chamorro. "Anytime we have the opportunity to exchange information and best practices, it contributes to fostering a closer bond between our nations."

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