The U.S. Air Force will lead training for Guatemalan military in “humanitarian assistance techniques” starting this month and extending through August.
The training is part of the “upcoming U.S. Southern Command exercise” in the Central American country, as detailed by the U.S. embassy in Guatemala through a press release.
“This exercise, which will run from May through August 2021, will provide joint training and enhance the readiness of U.S. and Guatemalan civil engineers, medical professionals and support personnel in humanitarian assistance techniques,” the press release noted.
According to the U.S. embassy, about 75 military personnel will travel to Guatemala for the training and to participate in the Southern Command “exercise.”
Among the activities planned, the “American military engineers” will work together with “Guatemalan military forces” to “renovate a military base training site” in the municipality of Poptún, in the department of Petén, some 500 kilometers north of the country’s capital.
Similarly, U.S. military doctors, dentists and veterinarians “will work with local partners” in the municipality of Melchor de Mencos, also in Petén, with “basic medical services and education” for the local population.
U.S. Army Colonel Michael Burgoyne, Senior Defense Officer at the Embassy in Guatemala, said that “this type of exercise strengthens the long-standing partnership between the United States and Guatemala, and reflects our countries’ mutual commitment to a more cooperative, prosperous and secure hemisphere.”
According to the U.S. embassy, the joint “exercise” with the Central American country will allow them to “respond quickly to humanitarian crises” together.
Guatemala is one of the 10 countries worldwide most affected and vulnerable to climate risks, according to international organizations. In 2020, hurricanes Eta and Iota caused great devastation in the country with thousands of hectares of destruction and 61 people killed by landslides, in addition to 99 missing persons.