The annual event, known in Spanish as “Iguana Voladora,” was hosted by the Honduran Special Forces and took place April 22-24 near the capital city of Tegucigalpa, according to a U.S. Army Special Operations Command press release.
The soldiers came from Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and the United States, and jumped from two CH-47 Chinook helicopters at 1,200 feet.
Green Berets from 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), as well as members of Joint Task Force-Bravo from Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras, and U.S. Southern Command represented the U.S., the release said.
In the press release, several soldiers said that despite geographical differences, they had much in common as residents of Latin American countries and as special operations warriors.
“We all speak the same language, and the commands we receive before exiting the aircraft are the same, just in Spanish,” said Costa Rican special police Lt. Albert Bustamante. “This is the third Iguana Voladora I’ve made it too, and each time there are more jumpers from more countries, but the ones who haven’t jumped with us before never have a problem. This might be because a lot of us were trained for airborne operations at Fort Benning.”
“When I heard about this jump, I immediately volunteered for it just to get the chance to meet other people who are like me but from other countries,” Mexican navy special operations Capt. Frederico Alberto Magana Ramos said in the release. “We’ve had a good, safe jump and an excellent learning experience and I’m already looking forward to coming back next year.”
The name “Iguana Voladora” has changed several times since the initial exercise in 1997. The first was unnamed and only featured three countries, the release said.