United States Report to the OAS on the Application of Confidence and Security Building Measures for 2009 and 2010 AG/RES. 2447 (XXXIX-O/09)
The United States strongly supports the adoption and implementation of measures identified in the Declarations of Santiago, San Salvador, and Miami on Confidence and Security Building Measures (CSBMs). This report is based on the measures identified at the summit-mandated Experts’ Meeting on CSBMs held in 2003 in Miami, Florida. The Miami CSBMs list consolidates all of the measures identified in previous OAS meetings on CSBMs.
1. Submit a comprehensive inventory of CSBMs that each member state is conducting in the hemisphere annually to the OAS.
This report serves to support this measure.
2. Hold high-level meetings involving the ministries of defense and foreign affairs at the bilateral, sub regional, and regional levels in order to provide for frank and direct dialogue on the joint evaluation of various aspects of defense and security and to exchange ideas and views with respect to the objectives of national defense policy, as well as the shared means of addressing common problems in this area.
The United States Government (USG), through U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM), engages high-level officials in bilateral meetings held during the visits of commanders and in conferences of Chiefs of Defense (CHODs). In August 2009 the Commander of USSOUTHCOM and CHODs from various South American nations participated in a forum to discuss regional security issues and interagency play within these issues. In September 2009, CDR USSOUTHCOM spoke with counterparts from partner nations during a briefing at the Fuerzas Aliadas (FA) PANAMAX 2009 command center in Panama City, Panama.
Senior personnel from Canada, Mexico, and the United States participated in discussions during the North American Forum (NAF) in Ottawa, Canada in 2009. The participants met to discuss “Beyond the Crisis: Forging a More Resilient North America.”
The Secretary of Defense and Commanders of USSOUTHCOM and USNORTHCOM attended the 2010 Defense Ministerial of the Americas in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. On the margins of this event, they participated in bilateral, sub-regional, and regional meetings related to defense issues. These talks facilitate military-to-military relationships and further the exchange of information concerning defense policy and doctrines. USNORTHCOM also conducted several high-level visits, including the Combatant Commander’s attendance at “El Grito” (Mexican Independence Day celebrations) in Mexico City in 2009.
3. Extend to diplomatic training institutes, military academies, research centers, and universities the seminars, courses, and studies envisioned in the Declarations of Santiago and San Salvador on confidence- and security-building measures and other issues related to peace and hemispheric security, with participation in those activities by government, civilian, and military officials and by civil society.
This measure is supported by activities at the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies (CHDS). Its mission is to conduct education, research, outreach, and knowledge-sharing activities on defense and security policy with civilian and military defense and security leaders.
4. Notification and observance of joint exercises and routine operations, as each state considers necessary.
The United States Government, through U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM), conducted joint exercises with U.S. Forces and partner nation personnel. In 2009 participating countries included: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay.
In addition, the USG, through North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM), invited Mexican and Canadian officials to observe bilateral, planning, training, and exercise events focusing on border issues, counterterrorism, Homeland Defense, and theater security cooperation. Mexican officials also observed events focusing on combat support, explosive ordinance disposal, force protection, interoperability, and military-to-military partnerships; Canadian officials observed events focusing on building partnership capabilities, crisis management, emergency response, Homeland Security, information sharing, smuggling, transnational threats, and weapons of mass destruction.
5. Advance notice of military exercises.
It is customary for the USG to present advance notice of military exercises. In extreme circumstances the exercises are called in short notice due to an unforeseen situation in the hemisphere.
Annually, the USG, through USSOUTHCOM and USNORTHCOM, sponsors a wide range of multinational exercises to strengthen regional partnerships and collective capabilities we believe are integral to U.S. national security and the security and stability of the Western Hemisphere.
These exercises increase the capabilities of both the U.S. military and partner nations’ security forces. Exercise scenarios include: maritime security, peacekeeping, counterterrorism, illegal migration, illicit trafficking, disaster preparedness and relief, and humanitarian assistance.
6. Conduct defense visit programs whereby the representatives of participating OAS member states visit defense installations and military academies.
The USG supported this measure by sponsoring defense school and orientation visits to various defense installations including USSOUTHCOM and USNORTHCOM Headquarters, component headquarters, major medical centers, and service academies. Participants in these visits ranged from cadets to senior level officials.
Mexican Army National Defense College Officers and civilian students participate in orientation visits to USNORTHCOM, the Air Force Academy, the Canadian Department of Defense and various military installation and agencies in Washington, D.C. area such as: the Pentagon, the Department of State, the Office of the U.S. Drug Czar and FEMA.
During the Tradewinds Exercise, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, and Uruguay participated in the opening ceremonies and observation of the Marine Corps amphibious demonstration and Non-Combatant Evacuation Ops (NEO) exercise in Camp Blanding, Florida.
The U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force also sponsor military visits and military personnel exchange programs.
In 2009, USNORTHCOM sponsored and/or participated in several bilateral and multilateral conferences in Latin America, and hosted Mexican defense and security officials to multiple school and orientation visits to various defense installations such as: USNORTHCOM, Army North, Joint Task Force-North (JTF-North), Air Forces Northern, major U.S. medical centers, Air Force Institute of Technology, and U.S. Service academies. These visits were conducted at the senior officer level, as well as at the cadet level, to foster interoperability, cooperative development, cooperative strategic studies, and to promote professional development.
7. Invite the Chair of the OAS Committee on Hemispheric Security to observe joint exercises in the Western Hemisphere.
USNORTHCOM and USSOUTHCOM will continue working with the U.S. Permanent Mission to the OAS to identify an appropriate opportunity to invite the Chairman of the OAS Committee on Hemispheric Security to observe joint exercises hosted by USNORTHCOM and USSOUTHCOM as part of their outreach programs. The U.S. Delegation to the Inter-American Defense Board (IADB), based out of the Pentagon, will coordinate with both Combatant Commanders to make this happen.
8. Exchange of civilian and military personnel for both regular and advanced training.
The United States, through USSOUTHCOM, sponsored 103 Subject Matter Expert Exchanges (SMEE) in 2009. These exchanges covered a variety of subjects, including:
- Personnel Recovery (PR) -- Argentina
- Combat Life Saver Program -- Republic of Panama
- USCG and Dominican Navy Exchange on the establishment of a DOMREP Navy Auxiliary
- Codification and Logistics Programs: Warehousing Processes and Inventory Management -- Belize and Suriname
- Medical -- Chile
- Aviation Logistics and Safety Assessment -- Trinidad and Tobago
The USG also sponsored several unit exchanges and familiarization programs for small units to enhance military training and professional growth. As an example, some of these exchanges trained selected military and law enforcement officers and enlisted personnel at the operator level with specialized training in the development of battalion level staff and small unit leadership skills in the areas of planning, leading, and executing counterdrug operations.
The United States also sponsored numerous Mobile Training Team (MTT) events with the Governments of Mexico and Canada. These events include, but were not limited to, events focusing on countering illegal activities near and across our borders, increasing information sharing, and counterterrorism. In Mexico, expert exchanges were also conducted with the Mexican Army, Air Force, and Navy.
9. Participate in the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, including the provision and exchange of information on national production of conventional arms.
On an annual basis, the United States participates in the UN Register of Conventional Arms and transmits a copy of its submission to the OAS Secretary General, the Committee on Hemispheric Security, and Member States. The United States submitted its most recent report on August 4, 2011 (CPH/CSH 1336).
10. Participate in the UN Standardized International Reporting of Military Expenditures and exchange this information with other member states.
On an annual basis, the United States participates in the UN Standardized International Reporting of Military Expenditures and transmits a copy of its submission to the OAS Secretary General, the Committee on Hemispheric Security, and Member States. The United States submitted its most recent report on August 4, 2011 (CP/CSH 1329 Add.1).
11. Develop common standardized methodologies for measuring defense expenditures among neighboring states.
The United States supports universal participation in the UN Standardized International Reporting of Military Expenditures and, as complementary measures, sub-regional and bilateral efforts to provide increased transparency regarding military expenditures.
12. Develop and exchange defense policy and doctrine papers (Defense White Papers).
Through USSOUTHCOM and USNORTHCOM, the United States actively supports and participates in a number of activities designed to assist in the development and exchange of defense policy and doctrine papers. USSOUTHCOM activities in 2009 included:
- Civil-Military Response to Terrorism -- Central America
- Mobile International Defense Management Course -- Central America
- Organized Crime and CyberTerrorism -- South America Regional
USNORTHCOM actively supported and participated in a number of activities designed to assist in the development and exchange of defense policy and doctrine papers. Activities in 2009 included:
- Perspectives on “Homeland Security” and “Homeland Defense” in April 2009
- Pandemic influenza Workshop in September 2009
- Participation in biannual meetings of the Homeland Security and Defense Consortium (HSDEC)
The United States annually transmits to the OAS General Secretariat and Member States a copy of the Secretary of Defense’s “Annual Report to the President and Congress,” which details the size, structure, and capabilities of the U.S. Armed Forces, as well as information on their deployment, and major military programs.
13. Exchange information on the functions, procedures, and institutional organization of ministries of defense and security, and related and pertinent institutions.
The USG, through a variety of combatant commands and agencies, conducts several activities, which are consistent with this measure.
USSOUTHCOM hosts annual conferences to allow Chiefs of Defense from each sub-region to meet and exchange ideas.
USNORTHCOM invited senior Mexican military officers to visit the United States to exchange information on the roles, missions, and organization of the DOD. Senior USNORTHCOM officers visited their Mexican and Canadian counterparts to learn the same of the Mexican Armed Forces and Canada Command.
Joint Task Force-North (JTF-North) sponsored meetings between the Mexican Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard. U.S. Army - North (USARNORTH), as well as JTF-North, participated in the U.S. - Mexico Border Commander Conference (BCC), which helped exchange information on the functions, procedures, and institutional organization of the defense departments and armed forces of all participants.
Information exchanges occur on several levels between Canada and the United States. The Permanent Joint Board on Defense (PJBD) provides strategic advice on defense issues for Canada and the United States. The U.S.-Canada Military Cooperation Committee (MCC) meets twice a year and serves as the senior military advisory bilateral meeting. At the operational level, Canadian Regional Joint Task Forces responsible for domestic operations meet annually with their USNORTHCOM counterparts at USARNORTH headquarters.
The U.S. Army Foreign Attaché program continues to provide support to foreign military attaches residing in Washington, DC and accredited to the U.S. Army.
The U.S. Army also offers a Foreign Liaison Officer (FLO) Program that facilitates cooperation and mutual understanding between the U.S. Army and armies of allied and friendly nations.
14. Exchange information on the organization, structure, size, and composition of defense and security forces.
See item no. 13 above.
15. Consider cooperative activities that develop regional peacekeeping skills and capacity through common training, combined exercises, and exchange of information on peacekeeping.
The USG, through USSOUTHCOM, sponsors Peacekeeping (PKO) exercises that provide readiness and training opportunities for the U.S. military and the forces of participating nations to improve capabilities to participate in UN multinational peacekeeping operations. These exercises enhance military-to-military contacts and promote regional cooperation and engagement.
Military members share peacekeeping experiences to develop and practice PKO doctrine and rules of engagement. Exercise scenarios allow for the exchange of ideas and the opportunity to review lessons learned in preparation for participation in an actual PKO operation.
One USG event that supports this measure is PKO Americas (formerly known as PKO North and PKO South exercises). PKO Americas is a Joint/Combined Command Post Exercise (CPX) and Situational Training Exercise (STX) with a focus on Peacekeeping operations divided into four phases. This is a mission readiness exercise with Participating Partner Nations from Central and South America and the Caribbean.
USSOUTHCOM has supported the New Horizons engineering and medical exercises, which include joint exercises based on humanitarian assistance scenarios. These exercises have taken place in The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Peru, St Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname.
The USG also supported the Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI) by conducting a conference for Vehicle Preventive Maintenance and Maintenance Management for the Multi Role Engineer Company (CIM). The purpose of the conference was to increase the maintenance efficiency of the CIM in support of United Nations Peace Keeping Operations (UNPKO) by exchanging knowledge and experiences in the maintenance of vehicles donated under GPOI.
16. Hold meetings and activities to prevent incidents and increase security for transport by land, sea, and air, and intensify cooperation in increasing security for transport by land, sea, and air in accordance with international law.
The United States has developed the DOD - USSOUTHCOM Cooperating Nations Information Exchange System (CNIES), which is designed to improve maritime and air traffic awareness by providing participating partner nations with real-time data on potential trafficking targets of interest. CNIES data recipients currently include the Governments of Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, the Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, and Trinidad & Tobago.
USSOUTHCOM is working with the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) to install CNIES into operations centers in Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay in support of Transoceanic (Navy).
Within USNORTHCOM, CNIES supports The Bahamas, Mexico, Joint Task Force-North, U.S. Customs & Border Protection Air & Marine Operation Center (AMOC), and selected U.S. Coast Guard sites.
Partner nation liaison officers at the Joint Interagency Task Force-South (JIATF-S) in Key West, Florida provide their home governments with information that enables law enforcement interdiction.
The USG has a liaison agreement with Canada to share information focused on land, sea, and air domains. The two countries also are cooperating to increase security of key transportation nodes including harbors, ports, airports, personnel and cargo border-crossing points of entry, and bridges over waterways between the United States and Canada. The U.S. Navy and Coast Guard are working with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Canadian Navy to monitor and protect maritime approaches to both nations.
U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) International Port Security (IPS) Program serves to reinforce implementation by combining multi-national best practices with international requirements to ensure a comprehensive and consistent approach to maritime security in the countries (and at their ports) that trade with us. Personnel visited ports in Belize, El Salvador, Guyana, and Suriname to learn how International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code measures have been implemented in other countries. The goal of the program is to visit all countries that conduct trade with the United States using via maritime transportation routes to observe and share best practices for implementation of the ISPS Code.
17. Strengthen cooperation and exchange of information among police, law enforcement, and military authorities of neighboring states in accordance with their border situation.
The USG hosted a regional seminar entitled “Law of the Sea & Maritime Law Enforcement.” The purpose of the seminar was to increase regional awareness of and emphasize legal aspects concerning joint and interagency cooperation in maritime interception operations and various types of maritime law enforcement. Regional participants shared their experiences, current local issues, and lessons learned. Officials from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua participated in the seminar.
The Eastern Caribbean Coast Guard Commanders' Air and Sea Conference (ECCGCASC) provided a forum for Eastern Caribbean Commanders and other law enforcement representatives to discuss current issues and trends related to law enforcement, air and sea components, natural disasters response, and port security. Participating countries included Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Martinique, St Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.
In August 2009, the Joint Interagency Task Force South (JIATF-S) hosted Senior Argentine Gendarmería Nacional and Prefectura Naval officers to see, first-hand, the Counterdrug Fusion Center and Law Enforcement Agency (LEA) Headquarters (HQ) in the National Capitol Region in order to better understand the U.S. assets available to them in the fulfillment of their Counterdrug and Border Security missions as well as strengthen political ties between our countries.
18. Establish, use, and exchange joint procedural manuals and credentials among armed forces and security bodies deployed in border regions.
The Commanders of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM), and Canada Command (Canada COM) initiated a study to investigate the future roles, missions, and relationships for their Commands, referred to as the Tri Command Study. The initial product of the study was the creation of the Framework for Enhanced Military Cooperation among NORAD, USNORTHCOM, and Canada COM”
The Framework describes how the three Commands operate and interact, highlights fundamental relationships, and underscores command responsibilities concerning mutual support and cooperation. While the Framework deals primarily with operational level military-to-military operations and issues, it also serves to identify future challenges and emerging issues that may require resolution at a more strategic level. The Framework’s immediate goal is to promote enhanced military cooperation among the three Commands.
This Framework assesses several of those key issues with the aim of eliminating gaps and identifying areas where the Commands may require additional clarification. The issues include:
- Contingency and crisis planning
- Intelligence sharing
- Information sharing
- Exercises and training
- Working with mission partners
The U.S. Government, through U.S. Army -North, regularly meets with Mexican military officials concerning increased information sharing along our border to counter transnational threats. Joint Task Force-North (JTF-N) and U.S. Air Forces Northern (AFNORTH) are active participants in these discussions. Joint Task Force-North also provided Mobile Training Teams (MTTs) to U.S. and Mexican LEAs that focus on improving information-sharing and developing common operational procedures.
The U.S. Coast Guard also provided Advanced Boarding Officer training to several Central America countries.
19. Consider establishing, as appropriate, mutual confidence or security zones in border areas, in accordance with security, freedom of movement, and economic and commercial development needs of each state.
On an annual basis, the U.S. Government hosts a Border Commanders’ Conference with Mexico that offers a forum for improving mutual understanding, communications, and cooperation between area headquarters on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. As a result, an increase in shared information between the two armies and enhanced cooperation and interoperability along the border has begun to help both nations’ effectiveness in the fight against the criminal drug cartels.
20. Conduct combined exercises between armed forces and/or public security forces, respectively, in compliance with the legislation of each state.
The United States sponsored Joint and Combined Engineer, Medical, and Combat Service Support field training exercises known as the Beyond the Horizon Exercises. These exercises focused on operating in an austere environment. These field training exercises happened in the Caribbean (Jamaica and Dominican Republic), as well as in CENTAM (El Salvador).
Unitas Gold is an annual combined, joint regional exercise conducted by Naval, Marine, Coast Guard, and Special Operations Forces from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Uruguay, and the United States. Canada, Great Britain, South Africa, Spain, and Portugal are routinely invited.
21. Develop and establish of communications among civilian or military authorities of neighboring countries in accordance with their border situation.
The USG held a bilateral Border Command and Control (BCC) conference with Mexico. The BCC is an annual forum to improve mutual understanding, cooperation, and communications between area headquarters on both sides of the border. Discussion topics included border security, transnational crime, and information sharing.
On a biannual basis, the USG holds bilateral talks with the government of Canada via the Canada-U.S. Permanent Joint Board of Defense.
22. Intensify cooperation, within the framework of the OAS, in the fight against terrorism, drug interdiction, preventing illicit small arms and light weapons trafficking, combating piracy, preventing smuggling, search and rescue operations, and the protection of natural resources and archaeological goods.
Enduring Friendship is a USG maritime initiative to establish interoperability and facilitate regional cooperation in Central America and the Caribbean, by promoting effective sovereignty of remote maritime locations, facilitating partners’ command and control capabilities as well as assisting partners to build a maritime component to their counter terrorism capability.
Through JTF-Bravo, based at Soto Cano Air Base in Honduras, the United States actively conducts Operation Central Skies, a focused multilateral and interagency counter-drug effort in Central America. Through the Counter-Terrorism Fellowship Program (CTFP), the USG has administered the DOD program to educate and train foreign military leaders in the common cause of combating terrorism by sponsoring several sub-regional events focused on interagency and multinational approaches to combating terrorism.
The United States sponsored several exercises and activities, including Panamax and the Partnership of the Americas, with the objective of improving cooperation and interoperability in combating a variety of transnational threats.
The United States is a participant in Project NORTHSTAR, a joint U.S.-Canada law enforcement information exchange forum, which, through JTF-N, supports U.S. Federal law enforcement operations along the U.S. and Canadian border. It is a multi-agency coordinating headquarters which operates through East, Central, and Western Regional Joint Coordinating Groups. Membership includes law enforcement organizations from Canada and federal, state and local drug law enforcement elements across the northern United States.
In 2009, USNORTHCOM, through the Office of Defense Cooperation – Mexico, coordinated annually in Counternarcotics (CN) training for Mexico. In 2009 the USG repaired and provided logistics support to the Mexican Air Force C-26 Metroliner aircraft fleet. In addition, much needed Night Vision Devices (NVDs) for the Mexican military were procured and delivered. During these years, USNORTHCOM also coordinated annual International Military Education and Training courses for the Mexican military, provided attendance to the various U.S. War Colleges and other professional military education, and coordinated Regional Defense Combating Terrorism Fellowship Program courses to include understanding of the terrorist threat and means to counter such threats.
In 2009, USNORTHCOM sponsored several senior civilian officials and military officers to attend and study at DOD’s Regional Centers in Europe (Marshall Center), in the Pacific (Asia – Pacific Center for Strategic Studies), and within the U.S. at CHDS through OSD’s Regional Defense Combating-Terrorism Fellowship Program (CTFP). These tailored seminars at the Regional Centers provide a forum for senior international and U.S. officials to discuss current CT and security topics and to build social networks of CT professionals that span the globe.
CHDS supported USSOUTHCOM by hosting an Inter-Agency Coordination and Combating Terrorism (ICCT) course in June 2009. In November 2009, CHDS supported USNORTHCOM by hosting a Piracy conference in the Bahamas.
23. Exchange information on security issues, such as the illicit trafficking in small arms and light weapons and the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, within the framework of the UN and OAS.
The United States provides to the United Nations detailed information on measures it has taken in support of the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects (UNPOA) and UN Security Council Resolution 1540. The U.S. also provides copies of these reports to the OAS. The United States provided the OAS with a copy of its 2010 Implementation Report concerning the UNPOA on June 29, 2010 (CP/CSH-1182/10 add.2).
The United States provides information regarding the proliferation of and the illicit trafficking in small arms and light weight weapons in all its aspects upon request by the general assembly.
24. Identify excess stocks of small arms and light weapons as well as seized small arms and light weapons and, in accordance with national and international agreements in which they participate, define programs for the destruction of said weapons and to invite international representatives to observe their destruction.
The United States is active in supporting cooperative measures to combat the illicit trafficking of arms in the region. In 2009, the United States, Canada, and the Organization of American States (OAS) hosted the Western Hemisphere’s first customs and law enforcement officials meeting in Vancouver to discuss practical approaches and best practices for combating illicit trafficking in firearms.
The U.S. Government hosted a workshop in Belize on combating arms smuggling in Central America. The workshop aimed to increase states’ capacity to more effectively address the illicit manufacturing and trafficking of firearms and adopt an operational action plan among the seven Central American states. A similar workshop was held in Argentina and included participants from South America.
On June 5, 2009, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) released its 2009 National Southwest Border Counternarcotics Strategy which, for the first time includes a chapter on combating illicit arms trafficking to Mexico. Prior to the new strategy, the U.S. government did not have a strategy that explicitly addressed arms trafficking to Mexico. In the absence of a strategy, individual U.S. agencies have undertaken a variety of activities and projects to combat arms trafficking to Mexico.
The Department of State and Department of Defense also provide technical, financial, and educational assistance regarding the destruction and stockpile management of small arms and light weapons to OAS member states. The Department of State provides assistance directly to states interested in the destruction of surplus and illicit stocks of small arms and light weapons. The United
States also provides technical and financial assistance to support security infrastructure improvements.
25. Holding of seminars and courses, and studies on mutual confidence- and security-building measures and policies to promote confidence involving the participation of civilians and military personnel, and on the special security concerns of small island states.
The U.S. Government supported the Inter-American Defense College (IADC) in conducting a 4-day seminar on Threats, Concerns and other Challenges to Hemispheric Security which focused on transnational and unique current and incipient threats to the hemisphere (including demographics; human, environmental, and economic security; corruption; challenges to democratic institutions; terrorism; and drug and arms trafficking) to bring to the forefront threats that require effective national and regional strategies and solutions to prepare defense and security advisors with a knowledge of the need for comprehensive approaches to solutions which include multi-lateral, multi-dimensional, and inter-agency responses.
The following countries participated in the seminar: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Nicaragua, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.
26. Cooperation programs in the event of natural disasters or to prevent such disasters, based on the request and authorization of the affected states.
During Fuerzas Aliadas Humanitarias 2009, USSOUTHCOM participated in a Tactical Decision Exercise (TDE) simulating a natural disaster in the region and response from the participating countries.
The following countries participated in the TDE: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Belize, Barbados, the British Virgin Islands, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the United States..
27. Establish national points of contact regarding natural disaster response, environmental security, transportation security, and critical infrastructure protection.
The United States, through USSOUTHCOM, is progressing with the development and installation of regional information-sharing networks in Central America, the Caribbean, and South America. This tool will allow states and regional coordination centers to share real-time information relating to natural disasters.
USSOUTHCOM also uses the Fuerzas Aliadas Humanitarias (FA HUM) exercise to help Central American nations build personal relationships at the worker and policy-maker levels. The command hosted a Proliferation Security Initiative Event, annual series of multinational exercises and operations conducted by navy, marine, air, special forces, and coast guard forces with Central and South American and other nation navies.
USSOUTHCOM also supports this measure by sponsoring national regional disaster management conferences, which provide a forum for senior military and civilian disaster preparedness and humanitarian assistance officials to address disaster loss reduction through a Comprehensive Disaster Management Strategy. The events strengthen the relationships already established with the National Disaster Offices in each country and support the efforts of the three regional mechanisms in the AOR – Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (CDERA), Central American Coordination Center for the Prevention of Natural Disaster (CEPREDENAC), and the Andean Committee for the Prevention and Handling of Disasters (CAPRADE).
During June 2009, the Defense Institute for Medical Operations (DIMO) supported USSOUTHCOM by providing a specialized military medical team to Operation Southern Partner. Operation Southern Partner is a two-week 12th Air Force-led event providing intensive, subject matter exchanges with partner nation Air Forces in career fields identified by participants. The exchanges covered dozens of specialties interfacing with not only host-nation experts in Jamaica, but also Barbados, Belize, Grenada, Guyana, St. Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago.
In September 2009, per a request from El Salvador Minister of Defense, USSOUTHCOM sponsored a Natural Disaster Response and Trauma Management Mobile Education Team (MET). Again, this training was performed by DIMO.
USNORTHCOM teamed with the Department of State, the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Environmental Protection Agency to execute Building Partnership Capacity and Humanitarian Assistance programs within their area of responsibility. One example of their efforts includes cooperation exhibited by Mexico's first acceptance of large-scale, DOD-provided civil material assistance consisting of 100,000 personal protective ensembles from the Defense Security Cooperation Agency excess property program.
Because Mexico is our southern neighbor, and disasters do not respect national boundaries, the USG focused on developing and improving procedures to respond to potentially catastrophic events such as pandemic influenza outbreak, mass exposure to dangerous chemical and materials, and natural disasters. Some of the United States’ international partners in these endeavors include domestic agencies such as Proteccion Civil in Mexico, who is responsible for consequence management response.
USNORTHCOM’s planning and operations staffs collaborate with interagency partners to integrate and synchronize plans for security and emergency response activities. They host an informal Interagency Planner Synchronization Working Group at the national level on a biweekly basis.
This type of collaboration has enabled the United States to execute a “whole-of-government” approach to planning, and has significantly improved cross-agency collaborative planning between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), FEMA, the Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the National Guard Bureau, and component command planning staffs. USNORTHCOM continue to see this collaborative effort expand as additional agencies choose to join.
28. Exchange information regarding scientific and meteorological research related to natural disasters.
Helping partners in the region prepare for and respond to natural and man-made disasters is a key part of U.S. humanitarian assistance efforts. In support of this priority, USSOUTHCOM works year-round on projects that enhance the capacity of host nations to respond and recover when disasters strike.
The USSOUTHCOM Science and Technology (S&T) Program supports the development of military capability to meet mission requirements. The S&T Program conducts activities to support the nation’s advanced technology programs, enhance joint capabilities in the theater, and increase interoperability with Partner Nations.
Improving joint and interagency capabilities is a major goal of the program. Mission needs are very demanding at every echelon of war and operations-other-than-war. Currently, USSOUTHCOM is collaborating with various organizations to improve processes, equipment, systems, and infrastructure.
Examples include the ability to improve the resolution of maps in complex terrain, crisis response to natural and man-made events, virtual collaboration, information fusion, and environmental monitoring.
29. Increase cooperation in accordance with the guidelines of the Inter-American Committee on Natural Disaster Reduction and to mitigate the consequences of such disasters, based on the request and authorization of affected states.
The USG’s humanitarian assistance missions and programs are a central part of efforts to enhance security and stability in Central America, South America and the Caribbean.
USSOUTHCOM constantly manages a series of humanitarian assistance, disaster preparedness, and disaster response programs -- from the construction of disaster relief warehouses, emergency operation centers, shelters, wells, and schools to the provision of medical, surgical, dental, and veterinary services. These projects support the development of the civilian infrastructure necessary for economic and social reforms and improve the living conditions of impoverished regions. They improve the ability of partner nations to withstand and recover from man-made and natural disasters, and they contribute to the sustainment of regional partnerships.
USSOUTHCOM also conducts humanitarian assistance exercises to train U.S. forces and provide tangible benefits to host nations in the form of medical clinics, schools, well drilling, and construction of rudimentary roads.
One such exercise program is the Medical Readiness Training Exercises (MEDRETEs). In a MEDRETE, a small team of military medical professionals deploy for two weeks to underdeveloped areas to get valuable real-world training while also providing medical and veterinary services to citizens in need of treatment. U.S. medical personnel benefit by providing medical care in a challenging and often unique environment; local medical professionals develop closer relationships with U.S. medical personnel; and the local population receives quality medical care.
In 2009, 89 MEDRETEs were conducted in 18 countries, treating over 220,000 patients, performing almost 1,200 surgeries, and inoculating and treating more than 31,000 animals. More than just a medical deployment, these humanitarian assistance missions have also provided dental care to approximately 50,000 patients, conducted medical training for almost 60,000 host nation students and medical providers, and sponsored over 40 construction and restoration projects at local schools and health care facilities. These visits also extended 22 veterinarian services, treating and vaccinating thousands of animals, which constitute the livelihood of many families.
As part of USSOUTHCOM annual operation Continuing Promise, USNS COMFORT returned to our waters with the mission to bring short-term modern medical care, provide preventive medicine engagement, and conduct long-term medical training and education. With over 100,000 patient encounters, 1,600 surgeries performed, 135,000 pharmacies dispensed, 13,000 animals treated and 37,000 students trained, we were able to engage on a scale unimaginable four years ago.
Humanitarian assistance exercises such as the annual Beyond the Horizon (BTH) exercises are a major component of the command’s regional engagement efforts and afford the opportunity to train service members while providing needed services to communities throughout the region. The BTH exercise series was launched in 2008.
BTH exercises provide persistent U.S. regional support through assessment, construction, and sustainment activities over a three-year period. Construction projects normally include schools, clinics, community centers, water wells, and other quality of life enhancement facilities for the host nation. Each BTH exercise lasts several months.
In 2009, USSOUTHCOM conducted these exercises in six countries in the AOR, supporting the renovation, construction and repair on 12 schools, two community centers, four health clinics, three water wells, two sports complexes, two road repairs, and one pedestrian bridge, in addition to providing critical training programs for first responders, disaster managers, firefighters, and disaster warehouse managers.
In addition to BTH exercises, USSOUTHCOM executes New Horizons (NH) exercises each year. These exercises mirror the BTH exercise series, but are one-year/single-phase engagements. Both BTH and NH also include embedded MEDRETEs. The exercises generally take place in rural, underprivileged areas. USSOUTHCOM attempts to combine these efforts with those of host-nation doctors, either military or civilian, to make it even more beneficial.
Helping partners in the region prepare for, and respond to, natural and man-made disasters is a key part of USG’s humanitarian assistance efforts. In support of this priority USSOUTHCOM works year-round on projects that enhance the capacity of host nations to respond and recover when disasters strike.
USSOUTHCOM sponsors disaster preparedness exercises, seminars, and conferences to improve the collective ability of the U.S. and its partner nations to respond effectively and expeditiously to disasters. USSOUTHCOM has also supported the construction or improvement of Emergency Operations Centers and Disaster Relief Warehouses and SOUTHCOM has provided pre-positioned relief supplies across the region.
Construction and refurbishment of additional Emergency Operation Centers and warehouses is ongoing. This type of multinational disaster preparedness has also proven to increase the ability of USSOUTHCOM to work with our partner nations. Finally, these exercises also provide valuable training to U.S. military units in responding effectively to assist the victims of storms, earthquakes, and other natural disasters.
USSOUTHCOM remains poised to direct U.S. military forces to help a nation in the aftermath of a disaster if that nation requests help through the U.S. government. Any such missions are in support of USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, which serves as the lead U.S. federal agency for foreign disaster relief efforts.
In 2009, USSOUTHCOM was called twice into action to help partner nations in need:
- Flood relief, El Salvador (November) -- U.S. military forces supported disaster relief efforts in El Salvador after heavy rains triggered floods and mudslides that caused widespread damage. About 40 U.S. troops and four helicopters from Joint Task Force-Bravo deployed to the Central American nation and worked with local officials and international relief organizations to airlift more than 373,000 pounds of aid, provide medical care to nearly 3,000 people and assist damage assessment efforts.
- Earthquake relief, Costa Rica (January) -- U.S. military forces supported disaster relief efforts in Costa Rica after a 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck near San Jose on Jan. 8, leveling villages and affecting hundreds of people. A team of 34 U.S. troops and four helicopters from Joint Task Force-Bravo worked with Costa Rican emergency crews to provide airlift support during search and rescue operations in isolated and devastated areas.
The USAID Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance has been actively providing humanitarian assistance in response to international crises and disaster supporting OAS member states throughout the region. A full report accounting for USAID activities for 2009 in the region can be found on the web at: http://www.usaid.gov/our_work/humanitarian_assistance/disaster_assistance/publications/annual_reports/.
30. Enhance multilateral cooperation among member states through the development and application of policies, programs, and activities regarding issues that are identified by the small island states as concerns, threats, and challenges to their security, and exchange and share information at the bilateral, sub regional and regional levels on the special security concerns of small island states to strengthen their capacity to address these concerns.
There are two U.S. Government endeavors that help to support this measure: Enduring Friendship and Tradewinds Exercise. Both of these endeavors are principally executed by USSOUTHCOM. Enduring Friendship is an initiative that aims to bolster partner nation capabilities in maritime domain awareness, assist interception of illicit traffickers and increase interoperability among participating nations in Caribbean and Central American waters. Countries currently participating include Bahamas, Belize, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, Costa Rica, and El Salvador.
The Tradewinds Exercise engages the Caribbean nations as a joint and combined training exercise with a goal to improve maritime and ground force responses to transnational threats. Participating Nations include Antigua-Barbuda, Bahamas, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & Grenadines, and Suriname.
In September 2009, USNORTHCOM hosted a Pandemic Influenza Workshop in Barbados. USSOUTHCOM, as well as representatives from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and The Caribbean Community (CARICOM), were present.
31. Consider the following actions for early implementation aimed at enhancing the security-building capabilities of the small island states:
- Establish a Virtual Private Network to facilitate regional sharing of criminal intelligence and other relevant databases in the fight against terrorism.
- Share critical information among border control authorities to strengthen border control capacity in the fight against drug trafficking and terrorism.
- Create joint training programs to allow existing entities to meet new challenges.
- Engage in joint strategic planning and cooperation in the fight against these common threats.
USSOUTHCOM’s Partner Nations Network (PNN) provides this capability. It is an unclassified but protected multinational web, collaboration and e-mail portal. Its purpose is to share critical information among border control authorities to strengthen border control capacity in the fight against drug trafficking and terrorism. PNN is also designed to create joint training programs to allow existing entities to meet new challenges.
USSOUTHCOM also supports this measure through the Tradewinds Exercise, which is a joint and combined regional training exercise engagement with the Caribbean nations that focuses on transnational threats. USSOUTHCOM promotes interoperability among the regional and inter-regional organizations to conduct unilateral and multilateral humanitarian relief and disaster response operations.
32. Cooperate closely to implement commitments agreed to at the 1998 Transportation Ministerial, active participation at the July 2003 International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Conference on the Safety of Transport of Radioactive Material, and to work together toward the continued strengthening of international standards regarding the maritime transport of potentially hazardous materials, including petroleum and radioactive materials.
In June 2009, the USOAS participated on behalf of the USG in a “Regional Workshop on Nuclear Terrorism.” The workshop was organized by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Secretariat of the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (OAS/SMS/CICTE). The workshop was hosted by the government of Argentina in Buenos Aires.
The main aim of the Workshop was to build capacity on legislative issues related to the prevention of nuclear terrorism and the international approach; promote international cooperation and exchange of best practices; and familiarize participants with the concepts of “Safety,” “Security” and “Safeguards.”
Experts from the organizing institutions participated in the conference, together with experts from other international, sub-regional, and national organizations, such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN 1540 Committee, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), INTERPOL, and Argentinean agencies with responsibilities on nuclear issues.
33. Implement the relevant aspects of the program “Education for Peace” in the Hemisphere, adopted by OAS Permanent Council resolution CP/RES. 769/00.
The United States has hosted the Inter-American Defense College (IADC) for 48 years at Ft. McNair in Washington, D.C. The IADC is an international educational institution operating under the aegis and funding of the OAS and the Inter-American Defense Board (IADB). It provides a professionally-oriented, multidisciplinary, graduate-level course of study. The primary objective of the college is to prepare military personnel and civilian government officials from OAS member states to assume strategic advisory positions related to hemispheric defense and security.
This eleven-month program provides senior military and government officials with a comprehensive understanding of governmental systems, the current international environment, the structure and function of the Inter-American system, and an opportunity to study broad-based security issues affecting the Hemisphere and the world. The development of these concentrations is accomplished through the detailed study of political, economic, psychosocial, and military factors of power. The College takes advantage of the unparalleled educational and research facilities in the Washington, D.C. area as well as external academic visits to the Americas. Faculty and students also engage in research and publishing.
The IADC also strengthens cooperation and exchange of the information among police, law enforcement, civilian personnel and military authorities of member states. In 2006, the United States was elected as director of the IADC and proudly continues to support its programs.
The IADC’s annual seminars covered such issues as Global Threats and Hemispheric Security, Peace Keeping Operations, Large-Scale Emergency and Disaster Situations, and Negotiation and Conflict Resolution.
34. Suggest and promote dialogue among hemispheric legislators within existing fora on confidence-building measures and on matters of peace and hemispheric security, including the exchange of visits and the convening of meetings.
USSOUTHCOM, in partnership with CHDS, provides strategic education to partner nation senior decision makers including executive and legislative leaders, and military service chiefs. In May 2009, CHDS facilitated an Advanced Policy Seminar on Caribbean defense and security issues. The seminar is designed as a forum for participants to explore potential collaborative security strategies, gain insights, enhance linkages and promote mutual understanding of circum-Caribbean regional security policies.
NORAD, USNORTHCOM, and Canadian military organizations encouraged contact and cooperation between the U.S. Congress and the Canadian Parliament through legislative liaisons embedded in military headquarters and commands. Congress and Parliament have exchanged information on defense and security for the past 60 years, and continue to do so on a regular basis.
35. Encourage exchanges and contacts between students, academics, and experts in defense and security studies.
USSOUTHCOM participates in academic exchanges focusing on regional security issues, and has built a strong working relationship with Florida International University and the University of Miami, as well as several Department of Defense institutions focused on higher learning (the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, the National Defense University, the Army and Air Force War Colleges, and the School of International Graduate Studies at the Naval Postgraduate School).
NORAD-USNORTHCOM/J7 Directorate created a Homeland Security / Defense Education Consortium (HSDEC). HSDEC is a network of teaching and research institutions focused on promoting education, research, and cooperation related to and supporting the homeland security/defense mission. The consortium is committed to building and maintaining a community of higher education institutions supporting this mission, and the overall homeland security effort, through the sharing and advancement of knowledge. In its effort to comprehend and address the threat, HSDEC supports research and education and adopts a broad conception of homeland defense and security. This is without respect to any particular boundaries between the missions of any particular military or civilian organization.
- Ensure that the Department of Defense (NORAD/USNORTHCOM) role in, and perspective on, homeland security is adequately and accurately reflected in educational initiatives.
- Promote and facilitate homeland security-related education program development.
- Focus and facilitate homeland security-related research and development.
- Encourage cooperation between consortium institutions.
The U.S. Air Force conducts the Latin American Academy Cadet Initiative visit and U.S. Air Force Academy Cadet Exchanges. U.S. Military Academy cadets continue to carry out semester abroad training at Mexican civilian institutions.
The U.S. Army conducts the Army War College International Fellows Program, which provides opportunities for senior military personnel from allied and friendly countries to study, research, and write on subjects of significance and the security interests of their own and allied nations.
36. Exchange and share experience and ideas on transparency and CSBMs with other regional security fora, such as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and the African Union (AU).
In 2004, the United States promoted the participation of other regional security fora in the First Meeting of the OAS Forum on CSBMs. The United States and Canada facilitated a round of consultations with OSCE in 1999. As OSCE members, the United States and Canada would be open to arranging future OAS-OSCE exchanges.