A Panamanian commando takes on an assault on a range during the Fuerzas Comando Competition at the Instituto Superior Policial, Panama, July 18, 2018. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Brian RaginPANAMA CITY, Panama – -(Ammoland.com)- At zero-dark thirty an alarm goes off. Breakfast will be served momentarily, and participants in this year’s Fuerzas Comando competition will head to their respective areas for another day of events to determine whose country has the best commando team.
Now in its 14th year, commandos from 17 countries — the U.S., Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Trinidad and Tobago — are competing to claim the title of “Fuerzas Comando Champion.”
The competition began on July 15 with an opening ceremony hosted by Panama’s Ministry of Public Security. Panamanian National Security Minister Alexis Bethancourt Yau and Army Col. Brian Greata, the deputy commander of Special Operations Command South, spoke during the opening ceremony.
Greata highlighted the importance of facing international threats as partners.
“Increasing our skills through competitions such as this, we improve our ability to face these challenges,” he said. “Therefore, I urge all of you to talk to each other, share ideas, cultivate camaraderie and establish trust and knowledge.”
Following the ceremony, the commandos changed and went to Calzada de Amador, Panama, to start the physical fitness event, which consisted of muscular and cardiovascular endurance. Events included one minute each of pushups, situps, and pull-ups, as well as a four-mile run.
U.S. service members and civilians were excited to be part of this exercise.
“Being in Panama for the first time has been exciting,” said Army Spc. Jose Vargas, who is attached to Special Operations Command South. “It’s been a learning experience;