By Francisco Pereira/Diálogo March 24, 2017 From February 13th to 16th, the Brazilian Army’s Logistics Command (COLOG, per its Portuguese acronym) held planning meetings in the city of Tabatinga, in the state of Amazonas, to prepare for AMAZONLOG 2017, a multinational logistics exercise. Various state organizations and agencies attended the meeting, including the Tabatinga City Government, through their representatives from the secretariats of Health and Education; the Federal, Military, and Civil police; the Internal Revenue Service; the Port Authority; the Brazilian corporation for Airport Infrastructure; the Brazilian Intelligence Agency; the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources; and the National Indian Foundation. In 2017, AMAZONLOG will take place in the city of Tabatinga, in the tri-border area between Brazil, Colombia, and Peru, over 1,100 km from the state capital of Manaus. The event is scheduled to take place between November 21st and 28th. “Tabatinga was selected because we want to show the world the challenges of the Amazon,” explained General Guilherme Cals Theophilo, logistics commander for the Brazilian Army in Brasilia. “If we had held this in the capital of Manaus, we would have glossed over those challenges. It’s a good thing to show the logistics, weather changes, and our forest; and consequently, to show the dual tasks we have, both for war and for peace—a scientific and technological debate—to get researchers to direct their sustainability projects towards the Amazon, and for our people to be able to set this up without harming the forest.” The exercise will focus on the mobilization of logistics resources that will be carried out by members of the armies from countries throughout the Americas. They are known as the Multinational Integrated Logistics Units, which have the objective of collaborating on a range of mock operations, as well as carrying out different scenarios that are similar to their daily duties. The exercises at AMAZONLOG will include: controlling unauthorized immigration flows, providing humanitarian aid during large-scale events, carrying out peacekeeping operations in remote areas, fighting transnational crime, and taking action against drug trafficking and environmental crimes. Experience The exercise is unprecedented in the Americas and was inspired by a NATO operation called Capable Logistician that was carried out in Hungary in 2015. That NATO exercise mobilized 1,700 soldiers in a mock logistics operation supporting 30,000 soldiers. “The original idea came out of an experience that Logistics Command officers had when traveling to Europe to take part in the multinational logistics bases that NATO was setting up to deal with refugees coming from the African continent, seeking opportunities on the European continent,” said Major General Mauro Sinott Lope, a special operations commander, and one of the coordinators of AMAZONLOG. “One country sets up part of the water supply, another takes care of energy, another provides fuel, another one sets up field hospitals, and yet another lends a hand with consular regularization duties.” The focus in the Americas is on a mock humanitarian issue involving various countries, agencies, and the Brazilian military. AMAZONLOG’s activities and operations are aimed at training in the area of humanitarian-aid logistics, as well as in the prevention and suppression of illicit cross-border movements in the tri-border region between Brazil, Colombia, and Peru, through interagency efforts. Logistics The Brazilian Army’s COLOG, the agency responsible for all event organization, has already invited logistics troops from Colombia, Bolivia, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Uruguay, the United States, Panama, and Canada, as well as observers from the Inter-American Defense Board, the Conference of American Armies, and the South American Defense Council. AMAZONLOG’s structure will include an exercise leadership team and a Combined Chiefs of Staff, as well as Brazilian, Colombian, and Peruvian troops, and representatives from the agencies of those three countries. Support will be provided by the Multinational Logistics Units from the Multinational Logistics Base. The Event In order for the event to be successful, participating countries will lend personnel, vehicles, aircraft, and logistics equipment of all types. The equipment will be kept at the 8th Jungle Infantry Battalion, out of the Tabatinga International Airport. The different scenarios for these activities in the Amazon jungle will consist of sharing experiences on water purification and storage, activating fuel-distribution posts, engineering infrastructure for logistics, setting up field hospitals that will provide services to civilians in the area, and activating transport centers for troops and essential supplies within, and outside the area of operations. Following the exercise, Gen. Theophilo hopes that all humanitarian aid operations proposed by the Organization of American States will be well-defined prior to each nation’s contribution. “The work has to be done reactively, not proactively. When disaster strikes, we have to decide which country to send, who to put in charge, who has the available resources and the special skills. We want to set up a program in which each country has its own specialty, so that in short order, when there is a disaster, it plays a role in setting up the multinational logistics base, and then starts assisting that population,” he stated. Countries such as Bolivia, Colombia, the United States, and Peru have already confirmed their presence in the exercise. The AMAZONLOG organization expects to receive more than 300 foreign service members.