Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Southern Command (SPMAGTF-SC) and the Infantería de Marina de Colombia will kick off a week of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HA/DR) rehearsals and Subject Matter Expert Exchanges (SMEEs), in Coveñas, Colombia, September 30.

This rehearsal and SMEE are hosted by the Armada Nacional de Colombia and will conduct training rehearsals at Base de Entrenamiento de Infantería de Marina through October 5.

The evolution is designed to train each nation’s Navy and Marine Corps to conduct civil and joint operations through the execution of humanitarian assistance, communications and air operations in order to increase interoperability and capability between participating civil, Naval and Marine forces. They will help validate interoperability amongst the two countries’ Marine Corps and ultimately the development of a standing Combined Task Force (CTF) postured to respond to HA/DR events throughout the region.

This HA/DR rehearsal and SMEE are the latest in a long history of engagements and cooperation between the United States and the region. In 2016, SPMAGTF-SC assisted in the delivery of more than 478,000 pounds of supplies during relief efforts in Haiti, following Hurricane Matthew. In 2017, SPMAGTF-SC formed the nucleus of Joint Task Force - Leeward Islands, which provided humanitarian aid and disaster response to the Caribbean, following Hurricane Maria. In 2018, SPMAGTF-SC Marines assisted the government of Guatemala’s response to the Volcán de Fuego eruption by building more than 200 multi-family shelters and supporting facilities, which helped more than 4,000 people left without homes. Most recently, SPMAGTF-SC participated in the 60th iteration of UNITAS – the world’s longest-running multinational maritime exercise, which focused on humanitarian assistance and disaster response.

For additional information about this rehearsal, contact SPMAGTF-SC 19 Public Affairs Officer by email: matthew.d.mallalieu.mil@mail.mil; or by phone at +1 (706) 491-0794.