US Marines plan force in Honduras for hurricane season

April 10, 2015
2 Comments

WASHINGTON D.C. — The United States wants to deploy a force of about 250 Marines to Honduras to provide humanitarian help during the region’s hurricane season, officials said Friday.

Honduran officials are weighing the proposed task force, which would operate out of Palmerola air base from June to November. The contingent also would assist Central American forces on efforts to counter narcotics trafficking.

“We have requested that the Marines be present in Honduras from June through November 2015, during hurricane season, to support Honduras and other countries in the region in the event of a hurricane or other major disaster,” the U.S. embassy in Tegucigalpa said in a statement.

Pentagon officials insisted the proposal would not involve the permanent deployment of U.S. troops, a sensitive political issue in a region where U.S. forces historically sided with authoritarian regimes.

“It’s only on a temporary basis,” said Captain Armando Daviu, public affairs officer for U.S. Marine Forces South. “It’s set up to be a quick response emergency force.”

The special purpose Marine air-ground task force would be equipped with four CH-53 cargo helicopters and possibly a C-130 aircraft, he told AFP.

“They will provide a unique and custom-made air and ground logistics support,” he added.

The task force would also contribute troops to “security cooperation” teams already stationed in the area, which train and advise local forces battling organized crime and narcotics smuggling.

Those small training teams — made up of about four to five Marines — are deployed in Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Belize.

The Palmerola air base, currently home to about 500 American troops, was once a major staging area in the 1980s for US military support to Contra rebels fighting the Nicaraguan government.

You may be interested

Prison sentence for abortion in El Salvador draws attention to Central American laws
Health
26 views
Health
26 views

Prison sentence for abortion in El Salvador draws attention to Central American laws

Julia Ríos / AFP - February 19, 2018

The recent liberation of Salvadoran woman Teodora Vásquez after 11 years of prison for having an abortion has drawn increased…

5 questions for Costa Rican musician Debi Nova
Weekend Arts Spotlight
329 views
Weekend Arts Spotlight
329 views

5 questions for Costa Rican musician Debi Nova

Elizabeth Lang - February 17, 2018

Music as a way of life, a career, and a path toward achieving big dreams: that's what drives the Costa…

What to do in Costa Rica: concerts, culture and love around the country
Events
368 views
Events
368 views

What to do in Costa Rica: concerts, culture and love around the country

Elizabeth Lang - February 16, 2018

With Valentine’s Day just behind us, it’s time to celebrate love in all of its expressions, as well as Costa…