Marine Corps Training and Advisory Group Partners with Chilean Marines

Story Number: NNS101129-06Release Date: 11/29/2010 1:20:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW) Jeffery Tilghman Williams, High Speed Vessel Swift Public Affairs

CONCEPCION, Chile (NNS) -- Four U.S. Marines and one Sailor, all assigned to Marine Corps Training and Advisory Group (MCTAG), teamed up with 33 members of the Chilean marines to conduct a week-long operational tactic exchange in support of Southern Partnership Station (SPS) 2011.

SPS is an annual deployment of U.S. ships to the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility in the Caribbean and Latin America involving information sharing with navies, coast guards and civilian services throughout the region.

The operational tactic exchange was basically a sharing operation. Each group discussed and demonstrated procedures involving patrols, urban movement, security breaching, movement under fire and hand to hand combat.

"We are just learning from each other and sharing our experiences and training," said Marine Capt. Raul Melano, MCTAG officer in charge. "Combat is combat, no matter what country you're in, so if we can combine our expertise to come up with better ways of doing business, I'm all for it."

The Chilean marine unit participating in the exchange was Destacamento de Infanteria de Marina Aldea Third Division, one of four in the country.

"We are not so different," said Sgt. 2nd Class Infantry Carlos Herrera. "We can learn from the U.S., and they can learn from us. My team is happy to be working with U.S. Marines and building a friendship."

"This is awesome," said Sgt. Daniel Monteiro, MCTAG instructor. "These guys learn so quickly and have shared so much information with us."

The week-long training evolution concluded with a practical application scenario in an old warehouse on the Chilean marine base. Four eight-man Chilean teams applied their military operations and urban training techniques.

"The goal was to share tactics that work and don't work when breaching a building or performing a sweep," said Melano. "We presented them with challenges and obstacles we have encountered, and they performed at a very high level."

MCTAG, operating under U.S. Marine Corps Forces Southern Command (MARFORSOUTH), is one of a complement of military teams embarked aboard High Speed Vessel 2 (HSV 2) Swift conducting training and subject matter expert exchanges with partner nations during this five-month mission.

MCTAG's mission is to build partner nation capacity in support of combatant commanders' theater security force assistance and security cooperation objectives as designated by respective regional Marine force component commands.

MARFORSOUTH commands all Marine forces assigned to Commander, U.S. Southern Command; advises the commander on the proper employment and support of Marine forces; conducts deployment and redeployment planning and execution of assigned and attached Marine forces; and accomplishes other operational missions as assigned.

Commander, U.S. Navy Southern Command (COMUSNAVSO) is the naval component command for U.S. Southern Command and is responsible for all naval personnel and assets in the area of responsibility. COMUSNAVSO conducts a variety of missions in support of the U.S. maritime strategy, including theater security cooperation, relationship building, humanitarian assistance and disaster response, community relations, and counter-illicit trafficking operations.

For more information, contact COMUSNAVSO/C4F Public Affairs by e-mail at, visit, on Facebook at or on Twitter at

For more news from U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command & U.S. 4th Fleet, visit

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