HUAMANGA, Peru --
U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine and Navy servicemembers arrived here Sunday to kick off New Horizons Peru, a U.S. Southern Command-sponsored humanitarian event that will benefit thousands of Peruvians in the Ayacucho area.
One hundred and thirty-nine members traveled to Ayacucho, an Andean region located in southern Peru, over the weekend to join task force members who arrived throughout late April and May to establish the base camp located outside of Huamanga, Peru.
The humanitarian mission, scheduled to run through Aug. 31, is an opportunity for the more than 990 U.S. servicemembers and their Peruvian counterparts to assist underprivileged Peruvian communities with expert medical care and robust construction projects while strengthening the bonds of friendship through teamwork and mutual respect.
"Our team has a lot of energy and enthusiasm, and they feel privileged to support this program alongside our Peruvian partners," said Maj. Matt Joganich, Commander, Task Force New Horizons - Peru. "They understand the quality-of-life value of the construction and medical projects, but they are really excited to make friendships with the people of Peru."
The task force is scheduled to construct two schools, three clinics and two water wells. Each new clinic will have the capacity to serve 5,000 Peruvians, and the new schools will have the capacity to seat 120 students. Each new well drilled will provide fresh water for approximately 700 Peruvian citizens.
More than 15, 000 Peruvians are expected to be cared for by three military medical teams, who will perform three separate medical missions. The teams will offer dentistry, dermatology, gynecology, internal medicine, optometry and pediatrics.
The New Horizons project will cost approximately $12 million U.S. dollars; including planning, transportation and logistics costs. Three million dollars will be spent on local Peruvian contractors, construction materials, food and other expenses. Additionally, engineers, doctors, nurses, and other support personnel will perform 240,000 man hours to support the humanitarian mission.
The 820th Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operations Repair Squadron Engineer (RED HORSE) Squadron will lead this project with the help of the Army, Navy and Marine Corps, who will contribute their skills in construction, base support and medical operations.
Peruvian Army Col. Denys Diaz, Director of Technical and International Cooperation and Director to the Development of Assistance, has been a major advocate for this partnered effort.
"I am looking forward to many more opportunities to work with U.S. again in the future," said Colonel Diaz. "Their generosity is well received."
New Horizon projects are the physical manifestation of U.S. SOUTHCOM's commitment to enhancing cooperation with the people of Peru and partner nations in Latin America and the Caribbean. Seven additional New Horizons exercises are scheduled to take place this year in Honduras, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Belize, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Panama.
For more information on New Horizons - Peru visit: www.12af.acc.af.mil/library/newhorizons.asp