The Honduran chief of defense, Gen. de Division Romeo Orlando Vasquez Velasquez, presented Army Lt. Col. Gregory Jicha, Army Forces commander, and Air Force Lt. Col. Randall Vogel, the 612th Air Base Squadron commander, with the Medal of Merit First Class, and Army Maj. Mirt Nevill, the JTF-Bravo comptroller, with the Medal of Merit Second Class, during a ceremony at the Estado Mayor Conjunto, the Honduran equivalent of the Pentagon.
“This shows the strong partnership the Honduran military feels toward the U.S. military in general and JTF-Bravo in particular,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Lawrence Ott, JTF-Bravo deputy commander. “It demonstrates the continuing and long-lasting strong bond the U.S. and Honduran militaries have enjoyed over the past several decades.”
Colonel Jicha said it was an honor to receive the medal from the Hondurans he has formed a tight working relationship over the past year. “Since we are guests in Honduras, I have worked very hard to build a strong relationship with the units we routinely work with, especially the paracaidistas (fellow paratroopers),” he said.
“While it is always nice to see your hard work appreciated, I was especially happy to see how close our two militaries have become. We could not do what we do as a JTF without being here, and I like to think we provide assistance to the Honduran military as well as partnership.”