JACKSONVILLE, Fla – International students from the Army Command General Staff College at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation at Fort Benning, Ga., visited the U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command to learn about security cooperation with the U.S. Navy.
U.S. Navy Captain Ryan Tillotson briefed the WHINSEC students on the diverse duties of the command, its strategy and the partners involved in the security cooperation program.
He explained the importance of building partners throughout the world, as no single nation or agency is capable of defeating a threat on its own.
“The relationships that we build is the most important thing we develop in the (Area of Responsibility),” Tillotson said.
During the briefing, Tillotson shared some of the upcoming combined training events with world partners. This year NAVSO, as part of the southern partnership station, is conducting diving operations with Chile and Colombia.
Maj. Eric Espino, a Panamanian police officer and WHINSEC student who was previously assigned to Panama’s Presidential Guard prior to attending the year-long course, asked Tillotson about the command’s criteria to select the country which will act as the main effort and exchange interoperability during a combined exercise with NAVSO.
Tillotson responded that if a country has the desire to lead the exercise, then they will be encouraged to take the lead. “We want all our partners to have everything they need to take the lead,” said Tillotson.
WHINSEC invites international students from various Latin countries to train side-by-side with U.S. CGSC Army counterparts on military doctrine, history, human rights, and senior officer leadership development.