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CJTF-RS24 leadership visits, assesses new shoot house at GRUFE

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Courtney Sebastianelli
  • 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern)

Resolute Sentinel 2024 leadership from both the Peruvian and U.S. armed forces came together to tour GRUFE (Special Forces Group of the Peruvian Air Force) during exercise RS24 in Lima, Peru, June 3, 2024.

The tour highlighted the significant base development aimed at enhancing interoperability and mutual readiness.

In the months leading up to RS24, the U.S. funded the construction of a modernized shoot house at GRUFE, which is projected to be completed this summer. This facility will be essential for conducting combined joint training for Peru and the U.S. in close quarters combat, a critical skill for preparing the forces of today for the conflicts of tomorrow.

"Interoperability opportunities are crucial as they allow us to share tactics, techniques and procedures, establishing frameworks and relationships that are vital during emergency operations,” said Col. Barton Kenerson, CJTF-RS24 commander. “The advancement of the capabilities and the integration of GRUFE is what right looks like from U.S. Special Operations Force Center. Their facilities and what they offer, have so much more for many nations to train and integrate with Peruvian SOF forces. The professionalism of the force, the capabilities of what they offer, their ingenuity and their innovation is incredible.”

As part of the tour, officials visited several key facilities, including a rappel tower, shooting range, sleeping quarters, tactical training area and a shoot house. These facilities are integral to the comprehensive training programs designed to enhance the operational capabilities of Peruvian partner forces.

The U.S. funding the shoot house for local contractor jobs further cements the economic partnership between the U.S. and Peru while highlighting Peru's defense capabilities, particularly in combating regional threats and enhancing their role in multinational operations.

"This is our first shoot house in GRUFE,” said Peruvian Air Force Col. Fidel Castro, CJTF – RS24 deputy commander. “We are going to gain a lot with the investment. We want to have the opportunity to have our first training in close quarter combat, and using the shoot house will enhance our capabilities. In regards to our current scenario, we are still fighting the remnants of the terrorist organization, Shining Path. This training house will be a very useful tool in developing our close combat capabilities to better face that threat.”

The visit to GRUFE also provided a platform for both nations to appreciate the geographical and operational challenges unique to Peru, which include diverse terrains such as coastlines, mountains and jungles.

"Having the opportunity to work with the most advanced armed forces in the world allows us to improve our capabilities significantly regardless of the geographical landscape," Castro said.

RS24 is designed to test and hone allied forces’ capability to operate seamlessly across these varied environments. Looking ahead, the Peruvian and U.S. forces plan to continue their collaboration, with future Large Scale Global Exercises scheduled for next year and beyond.

"This ongoing cooperation not only strengthens our bilateral relations, but also ensures we are prepared to face common threats effectively," Kenerson said. “The joint efforts seen here reflect a commitment to regional stability and the enhancement of collective security measures.”