LIMA – Colombia has won a competition involving 20 special operations teams from across the Americas, with Honduras and Peru coming in second and third place, respectively, military officials said.
At the close of the competition on Thursday, the Colombian team had accumulated 2,990 points for its eight trophy, followed closely to the end by Honduras with 2,945 points and host Peru with 2,880 points.
The remaining finishers, in order, were Mexico, the United States, Guatemala, Argentina, Chile, Panama, Uruguay, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Jamaica, Paraguay, Trinidad and Tobago, Belize, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Haiti and Suriname.
At the closing ceremony of the “Fuerzas Comando 2016” contest, Peruvian Defense Minister Jakke Valakivi said it served to strengthen ties of friendship among the armed forces of the Americas and improve their preparedness to battle terrorism, drug trafficking and other regional threats.
Adm. Kurt Tidd, commander of the U.S. Southern Command, hailed the competition for bringing together 160 members of military and police special operations teams from 20 countries and praised the Colombian team in particular.
Afterward, Valakivi, Tidd and Adm. Jorge Moscoso, chief of the Peruvian armed forces’ Joint Command, awarded medals of honor and handed out trophies to the Colombian, Honduran and Peruvian teams.
The competition, held under the slogan “Our Strength: Teamwork,” provided “a unique opportunity” for the region’s armed forces to demonstrate “the preparedness, capability and professionalism of their elite forces,” Valakivi said, adding that the participants were pushed “to the extreme in each of the trials.”
Sniper and assault team competitions were held during the 11-day Fuerzas Comando, which featured trials such as building raids and hostage rescue simulations.
The competition, begun in 2004 at the initiative of the U.S. Southern Command, will take place next year in Paraguay.