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US Army, South, Combatant Command, GEO

Definition/Scope: U.S. Army South is a Major Subordinate Command (MSC) to U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM). On October 1, 2003, USARSOUTH transitioned from a Major Army Command to an MSC. The transition was transparent; USARSOUTH maintains its role as the Army Service Component Command of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM). USARSOUTH is one of five components of the command, which when combined, work together as a team to accomplish USSOUTHCOM's theater security cooperation missions. The first U.S. Army troops arrived on October 4, 1911, to be followed by other infantry, cavalry, engineer, signal, and field artillery units that made up what became known as the Mobile force. Initially, these troops operated under the Isthmian Canal commission with the general designation of the Panama Canal Guard. As part of a Unified Command Plan change, United States Southern Command also assumed geographic responsibility for U.S. military forces operating in the Caribbean Basin and the Gulf of Mexico on June 1, 1997. Within this framework, United States Army South's area of responsibility expanded to include 32 sovereign nations and 11 dependencies throughout all of Latin America and the Caribbean, except Mexico. In 1998, United States Army South units participated in 15 platoon exchanges at the Jungle Operation Training Center with soldiers from Belize, Colombia, Venezuela, El Salvador, Chile, Argentina, and Paraguay. United States Army South continued to meet the strategic demands of its mission, due to the skillful use of active Army forces with augmentation from United States Army Reserve and National Guard troops. On August 13, 1999, United States Army South officially moved to Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico. The decline in troop numbers continued until the end of 1999 when, in full compliance with the Panama Canal Treaty, all military troops left the Isthmus of Panama for the first time since their arrival at the beginning of the century. USARSO operates in an area of responsibility that contains one-sixth of the world's land mass and represents the United States' fastest growing trade partner. Because of its size and the unique training opportunities that the region offers, USARSO has enjoyed extensive Reserve Component support. USARSO should not be confused with USSOUTHCOM which is a Unified Combatant Command.

Used For:




Broader Terms:

Army Service Component Command
combatant command
unified commands (Army components)
US Army Forces Command

Narrower Terms:

Commander, US Army South
Fuerzas Aliadas PANAMAX
Jungle Operations Training Center
USARSO installations

Related Terms:

Eighth US Army
Fort Sam Houston

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