U.S. Military forces conduct humanitarian and disaster relief exercise in Belize

Saturday, January 8th, 2022

Currently, the United States Southern Command (U.S. SOUTHCOM) is conducting the Keel-Billed Toucan (KBT), a U.S. military humanitarian and disaster relief exercise in partnership with the Government of Belize. The training is near Ladyville, north of Belize City, from January 7th to the 21st, and is led by the Joint Task Force-Bravo (JTF-Bravo), a unit based in Soto Cano Air Base in Honduras.

A U.S.Army CH-47 Chinook helicopter assigned to U.S. Army Europe’s 12th Combat Aviation Brigade departs a landing zone after unloading Soldiers from USAREUR’s 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) during a Combined Arms Live-Fire Exercise at the Grafenwoehr (Germany) Training Area, March 28, 2014. The CALFEX at the Joint Multinational Training Center was part of a Mission Rehearsal Exercise that brought the two brigades together along with F16 fighters from U.S. Air Forces in Europe to prepare the 12th for it’s upcoming deployment to Afghanistan. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Glenn M. Anderson, USAREUR Public Affairs / Released)

In an official note issued by the U.S. Embassy in Belize, they advised people in the surrounding areas to expect helicopters flying around as part of the exercise. The JTF-Bravo routinely trains for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions. This unit is equipped with unique airlift capabilities that can rapidly respond to save lives and mitigate suffering in the immediate aftermath of natural disasters. The KBT exercise will include using U.S. Army CH-47 and UH-60 helicopters to deploy 150 U.S. service members from the American base in Honduras. JTF Bravo Commander Colonel Steven Gventer will monitor the military training. He noted that the task force is uniquely positioned and highly capable of providing quick, effective assistance to local communities throughout the region during times of need. “Exercises like Keel-Billed Toucan enable the U.S. government to drill for a real-life event so that we may sharpen necessary skills to assist our friends in Belize,” Commander Gventer said.

The U.S. Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Leyla Moses at the American Embassy in Belize said that through such exercise, her country is demonstrating its commitment to the safety and security of the Belizean people. “It is a testament to our strong security ties, as well as the longstanding friendship between our two countries and our commitment to assist Belize in disaster preparation and response,” said Moses.

The U.S. SOUTHCOM emphasized that the training is critical to be ready during a natural disaster crisis and enhance the already strong U.S.-Belize bilateral ties.


Please help support Local Journalism in Belize

For the first time in the history of the island's community newspaper, The San Pedro Sun is appealing to their thousands of readers to help support the paper during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since 1991 we have tirelessly provided vital local and national news. Now, more than ever, our community depends on us for trustworthy reporting, but our hard work comes with a cost. We need your support to keep delivering the news you rely on each and every day. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Please support us by making a contribution.

Click to Donate

Follow The San Pedro Sun News on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook. Stay updated via RSS

Leave a Reply

Comments are closed on this post.