U.S., Salvadoran Soldiers Build Structures, Relationships

Some 1,800 soldiers from Combined Joint Task Force Hope are providing humanitarian assistance as part of their training during the Beyond the Horizon exercise in El Salvador.

The U.S. Army South-led mission runs through Aug. 4, and includes soldiers from all components, Air Force and Marine Corps service members, Salvadoran soldiers, and personnel from nongovernmental organizations.

The scope of training includes the construction of two schools, as well as extensions to two existing schools and a clinic in the La Paz Department, a rural area in the southeastern part of the nation that is underdeveloped and in need of services, said Army Maj. Al Cavazos, CJTF Hope Information Operations Cell officer in charge. The task force also is providing medical and dental treatment at various locations.

Army Staff Sgt. Cristin Baughman is the noncommissioned officer in charge of a group of 30 soldiers from the 4th Engineer Battalion, Fort Carson, Colorado, who are building a three-classroom cinderblock structure for elementary and middle school children at Santa Rita.

The U.S. soldiers were working alongside Salvadoran soldiers June 25. Despite the language barrier, they were coordinating efforts very well, she said. The hardest part of the work, she noted, was getting the right supplies at the right time…

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