Fuerzas Comando 2017 – The armed forces of Paraguay hosted top special operations soldiers from across North and South America during the Fuerzas Comando 2017 competition. This military exercise has been held every year since 2004. The first competition was hosted by El Salvador with 13 participating countries. This year’s event, which took place July 17-26, hosted almost 500 personnel. Many military and law enforcement agencies were represented from 20 different countries.
The competition is sponsored by the United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) and planned and executed by the Special Operations Command South (SOCSOUTH). The intent of the exercise is to promote regional cooperation and interoperability. In addition, relationships are established and reinforced within the SOF community of the Western hemisphere.
General Tony Thomas, the commander of the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) attended the opening ceremony and stated:
“Fuerzas Comando is yet another link in the global network. This network brings together our hemisphere’s Special Operations Forces and key leadership into an interlocking tribe of families, partners and true friends.”
The teams that compete are made up of 6 members. Four troops are in the assault group while two are snipers. In addition, each team has an alternate in case of illness or injury. There are a number of complicated and arduous events that the teams compete in to include a confidence course, combat march, aquatic events, obstacle course, physical fitness tests, marksmanship, sniper stress tests, and situational scenarios requiring specific actions.
As part of the overall event a Senior Leader Seminar was held where military, defense, security leaders, academics, and policy influencers met to to discuss the methods of countering transnational and transregional threat networks (T3N). The four-day seminar featured several presentation on the T3N topics. In addition the Joint Special Operations University (JSOU) provided a series of presentations on related subjects.
The victorious team this year was Team Honduras. Colombia placed second with the United States team from 7th Special Forces Group from Eglin Air Force Base, Florida placing third.
Videos of Fuerzas Comando 2017:
Combined Assault Event, SOCSouth, July 22, 2017.
Ruck March and Team Event, SOCSouth, July 26, 2017.
Fuerzas Comando 2017, SOCSouth, July 26, 2017.
“Paraguay to Host Fuerzas Comando 2017”, Dialogo Military Magazine, July 25, 2017.
“A Band of Brothers: Countries compete for 11 days but partner for life”, DVIDS, Special Operations Command South, July 27, 2017.
“Fuerzas Comando XIII Senior Leader Seminar Analyzes Joint Ways to Counter T3N”, Dialogo Military Magazine, July 28, 2017.
“Special Ops Competition Brings Teams Together, SouthCom Commander Says”, Defense Media Activity, July 27, 2017.