A group of 15 members of the US Marine Corps who are part of Special-Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force-SOUTHCOM (SPMAGTF-SC), arrived in El Salvador on Tuesday. This regional operation was announced by the Southern Command in March.
The Marines will participate in joint training with the Ministry of Defense, which will include humanitarian efforts in preparing for natural disasters and other preparation exercises. The Marines will remain in El Salvador until November and will be based in the Marine Battalion in La Union.
The United States and El Salvador share a long history of bilateral military cooperation. Planning and coordination for this mission began 11 months ago and reflects the strong ongoing relationship.
The soldiers arrived on board a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter, which is the largest helicopter the US forces have. This aircraft is used in search and rescue operations in natural disasters and other emergencies.
Most of the staff of the mission will be located at the base of Soto Cano in Honduras. However, individual groups will travel to El Salvador, Belize, Guatemala and other locations in Honduras to bring the training, including preparation for humanitarian efforts during natural disasters and other exercises of preparation.