US Army South hosted the 35th round of the US Army Conference (CAA) Interoperability and Strategic Planning Specialized Conference at Joint Base San Antonio, for Sam Houston, Texas in mid-July, which included participants representing 16 armies from North and South America.
US Army South is the Army Action Officer and CAA Liaison Officer responsible for all conference coordination for the US Army. The commanding general, Army South, typically leads the U.S. delegation in conferences, meetings, and exercises on behalf of the Army Chief of Staff.
Major General William L. Thigpen, Commanding General of US Army South, welcomed senior Army leaders, drawing attention to interoperability and strategic planning.
“Since 1961, when the first conference of the United States Armies met, the purpose of our meeting has been to provide a forum for professional military leaders to exchange information, as well as to strengthen partnerships, while building trust. between the armies,” Major General Thigpen said. said. “These relationships are increasingly important as we face emerging challenges both in the hemisphere and globally. We are always stronger together.
The CAA is an international military organization led by armies from the North and South American continents. The organization organizes a two-year cycle of specialized conferences and exercises hosted by different member armies, culminating in a preparatory conference that reviews the achievements of the previous two-year cycle and approves the agenda for the next conference. CAA commanders.
The CAA enables the U.S. Army Chief of Staff to engage in multilateral and bilateral dialogue with his counterparts in Central, South American, and Caribbean partner nations and allied nations.
Rafael Nigaglioni, CAA Program Manager and Liaison Officer, reiterated the importance of strong partnerships and cohesion between the armies of partner nations.
“Interoperability between Partner Nations is extremely important as it facilitates a smoother flow of collective efforts between Partner Nations who normally share different equipment, languages and capabilities as they work together towards the same mission objectives” , said Nigaglioni.
Chilean Army Col. Aldo A. Vergara-Sierra, the Chilean Army’s principal delegate to the conference, highlighted the event as an opportunity to strengthen military-to-military relationships and partnerships, while discussing ways to increase interoperability.
“From my point of view, it was a great opportunity to share and exchange experiences and knowledge regarding interoperability between each of our armies,” Colonel Vergara-Sierra said. “I had the chance to showcase our lessons learned from Southern Vanguard 2021, played in a snowy mountain scenario in Chile with the US Army’s 10th Mountain Division.”
During the event, Maj. Gen. Thigpen conducted bilateral meetings with multiple nations to discuss common goals, training opportunities and ways to enhance integration and collaboration to address regional challenges.
The Secretary General of the CAA, Major General of the Brazilian Army, Paulo Roberto Rodrigues Pimentel, saw in the discussion an opportunity to facilitate the exchange of information and cooperation between the armies present.
“There is no way to research the army of the future without researching the joint employment of friendly arms,” Maj. Gen. Pimentel said. “Interoperability and strategic planning are gaining in importance to face future threats and challenges. This specialized trust will be of great value as the lessons learned will facilitate information exchange, integration and cooperation.
The planning, coordination and execution of the CAA proved to be a success according to US Army Maj. Christopher Feliciano, CAA conference coordinator.
“CAA is about building ties, bonds and partnerships,” said Maj. Feliciano. “What is important will also be the exchange of information that we bring this year and tons of interoperability experiences in our agencies.”
The CAA Specialty Conference on Interoperability and Strategic Planning concluded with a farewell address from Brigadier General Lynn Heng, Deputy Commanding General of US Army South.
“I am grateful for your invaluable collaboration during this conference which showcased our collective military’s contribution to strengthening security in our hemisphere that we all call home,” Brig. said General Heng. “Together we have begun to create great products that will help us all on this important topic. Your work here this week is contributing greatly to the overall effectiveness of CAA.