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New Horizons equipment to begin arriving in Belize March 8

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Kelly Ogden
  • 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern)
Belizeans will begin noticing an influx of U.S. military equipment traveling from the Port of Belize to various locations throughout the country in support of New Horizons beginning March 8.
The shipment, which left Cape Canaveral, Fla., on March 1, includes various construction and maintenance vehicles (tractor trailers, dump trucks, excavators, pickups, forklifts, backhoes and gas trucks) and a variety of shipping containers that will be used to support exercise requirements.

The New Horizons Logistics Port Team in charge of coordinating air and sea shipments have been coordinating with the Belizean government, Port of Belize officials, U.S. Transportation Command and various military and civilian entities to ensure logistical success since last August.

"The Belizean Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education and the Belize Defence Force have been pivotal in assisting us with all of our New Horizons logistical requirements," said Master Sgt. Scott Stambaugh, a native of La Grange, Mo., and the 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) and New Horizons Belize transportation manager. "We worked hand-in-hand with Belizean government officials, who took us to all of the project sites, made recommendations on what they wanted at each of the schools and clinics, and spoke with city officials to get roadways built and modifications made to property to accommodate transportation requirements."

Exercise personnel affiliated with New Horizons will be working at several locations throughout Belize with the New Horizons team headquartered at Price Barracks near Belize City.

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., Canadian 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.

This is the second year in a row that the New Horizons Exercise has taken place in Belize. Last year, during New Horizons, members of the Belize Defence Force, contractors throughout Belize, and airmen, soldiers and Marines worked side-by-side to build community centers, medical clinics and schools, and to reinforce hurricane shelters.

"Our relationship with the government of Belize, Port of Belize personnel and local citizens has grown tremendously over the past two years," said Staff Sgt. Eliseo Guerrero, a San Antonio native, and the 12th Air Force (AFSOUTH) and New Horizons lead logistical planner. "Going back to a place where everyone from government workers to various servers, housekeepers and business owners remember your face and greet you with open arms is when you know that you've made a difference ... our partnerships have grown into true friendships that will stand the test of time."

The New Horizons was launched in the 1980s and is an annual joint humanitarian assistance exercise that U.S. Southern Command conducts with a partner nation in Central America, South America or the Caribbean.

The exercise improves joint training readiness of U.S. and partner nation civil engineers, medical professionals and support personnel through humanitarian assistance activities.