The United States military is planning to deploy hundreds of US Marines to several countries in Central America, according to a report.
The US Southern Command decided to send 280 Marines to the region for about 200 days, Miami Herald reported.
Most of the troops would be deployed to the Soto Cano air base in Honduras and nearly 90 of them to Guatemala, El Salvador and Belize.
The deployment would be “the longest, largest known Marine deployment onto Central American turf in years,” said the report.
Army Col. Lisa Garcia announced that most of the Marines were drawn from the II Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and assigned to the special task force in March.
There were no explanations about the mission of the Marines.
However, the report said the forces would be there to “train friendly forces and be in a position to pivot to high-profile disaster relief efforts, which the US military likes to promote in poorer southern hemisphere countries.”
Last month, Army Lt. Gen. Kenneth Tovo, who is the deputy Southern Command commander, testified before a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee that the special unit’s ground element will be doing regional training — maritime and river operations, marksmanship and small-unit training.
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