Commander of Special Operations Command South visits El Salvador

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Keith Davids, Commander of Special Operations Command South, met with U.S. Ambassador Ronald D. Johnson, Salvadoran Minister of Defense Rear Adm. Rene Merino Monroy, Chief of Defense Brig. Gen. Carlos Alberto Tejada, Chief of Naval Operations, Capt. Exon Oswaldo Ascencio and Salvadoran Special Operations military leaders at the brigade level in San Salvador, El Salvador, Dec. 10-11. During his visit, Davids discussed SOCSOUTH’s role in the U.S.-El Salvador strong security partnership where both nations focus on countering transnational criminal organizations such as Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and 18th Street gang.

Each fiscal year, partnered security operations disrupt more than $4 billion worth of drug trafficking operations. This strong security cooperation significantly enhances the ability of the U.S. and partner nations to patrol Eastern Pacific smuggling corridors, through which more than half of the drugs heading for the U.S. transit – often in multi-ton shipments.

While in El Salvador, Davids participated in the graduation ceremony for the Military Occupational Specialty Instructor Course (MOSIC) at the Comando Especial Anti-Terrorista (CEAT) in Ilopango, El Salvador. The course was conducted by a Special Forces Operational Detachment –Alpha (SF-ODA) team assigned to the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) over a period of three months. SOCSOUTH sponsors and operates MOSIC, which focuses on building the capacity of Salvadoran Special Operations Forces, working together to protect both countries’ shared neighborhood and develop interoperability between both nations to respond to emergent threats, humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief quickly.

El Salvador is a critical partner in bringing stability to the region and is one of more than 20 nations collaborating with the U.S. in cooperative efforts to detect and dismantle transnational criminal organizations in the Western Hemisphere. All nations in this hemisphere share the air, land, sea, space, cyberspace, and values while seeking a mutually beneficial security environment.