US sends 220 soldiers into Mexico

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On Monday morning, a group of approximately 220 US soldiers crossed into Juarez, Mexico, to participate in a joint disaster response exercise with the Mexican army. The troops arrived at the Bridge of the Americas around 10:30 am and were greeted by a convoy of Mexican army trucks and Juarez police motorcycles.

The exercise, known as Fuerzas Amigas 2024, will last for five days and involves the participation of over 500 soldiers from both countries. The joint training aims to improve readiness and strengthen the cooperative relationship between the US and Mexico.

According to the Department of Defense, the purpose of the exercise is to direct US troops in conducting natural disaster response exercises alongside Mexican military forces. The training scenarios will include responding to earthquake-related disasters such as a stadium collapse, chemical spill at a wastewater plant, train derailment involving hazardous materials, and airport terminal collapse.

The US troops are under the command of Joint Task Force Civil Support (JTF-CS) based in Fort Eustis, Virginia. They will be working alongside Mexican military forces from the 5th Military Region based in Coahuila and Jalisco.

In a statement, SEDENA, Mexico’s Ministry of National Defense, said that the training represents an opportunity for both armies to interact in binational scenarios, sharing experiences, procedures, and operational tactics when assisting civilians. This will allow them to improve their immediate response capacity.

This is not the first time US government personnel have crossed into Juarez for training purposes. Last week, a team from the Border Patrol’s BORSTAR search, trauma, and rescue unit demonstrated Narcan administration, drug overdose response, and armed ambush response techniques at the Juarez Police Academy.

The Mexican Senate approved the crossing of US federal or military employees on official business in advance, and they are required to enter Mexico unarmed.