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AFSOUTH NCO leads contracting team for New Horizons Belize

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Kelly Ogden
  • New Horizons Public Affairs
A technical sergeant from Air Forces Southern has deployed to Belize in support of the annual U.S. Southern Command-sponsored New Horizons exercise.

Tech. Sgt. Ryan Schnepf, an Indianapolis, Ind., native who has been in the Air Force for 12 years, is here leading a 3-person contracting/finance team.

His role in the exercise is to provide contracting logistical support to New Horizons task personnel and to establish contractual agreements with local businesses to purchase supplies, services and materials.

Schnepf, who has previously deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, Oman, El Salvador, Canada, and Qatar, is deployed to Belize for the second year in a row.

"The best thing about this deployment is building relationships between the U.S. and Belize," Schnepf said.

The New Horizons exercise benefits U.S. military personnel by providing valuable training that they cannot receive at home station because of the details and logistics it takes to execute an out-of-country deployment.

The process involves packing and prepping the right equipment and materials in the U.S., working with U.S. Transportation Command to have those items shipped from the U.S. to the exercise location, conducting the exercise itself and then redeploying home.

The other key benefit U.S. service members receive from the New Horizons exercise is the opportunity to learn from and build partnerships with the exercise participants from the host nation's government and military forces.

"This type of training is invaluable," he said. "I have such a better understanding of how to conduct business in foreign countries to include working with the government of Belize and local contractors during the execution and redeployment process."

Exercise personnel affiliated with the New Horizons exercise will be working at several locations throughout Belize. There will be multiple Medical Readiness Training Exercises in Belize City, Corozal and in areas surrounding Punta Gorda.

During these Medical Readiness Training Exercises, teams of medical doctors and specialists with equipment and supplies will provide medical treatment to the local population. The doctors and specialists are comprised of U.S. and Belizean professionals.

In addition, civil engineers from both the U.S. and Belize will construct a hospital ward in Belmopan, three schools in Belize City, and one school in Hattieville. The schools will support furthering the education of children in the country.