Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Pentagon: US Military Base in Honduras on Shut-down Following Uprising

News in Balance

News in Balance:

WASHINGTON, June 30, 2009 -- There are no current threats to U.S. servicemembers serving in Honduras following last week’s removal of the Honduran president, U.S. Southern Command officials said today.

The 600 American soldiers, sailors and airmen based at Soto Cano Air Base are staying on the base and not conducting exercises with the Honduran military, said Robert Appin, deputy director for public information and outreach at Southern Command in Miami.

On orders of the Honduran Supreme Court, the Honduran military removed President Manuel Zelaya from power on June 28 for attempting to circumvent the country's constitution, according to reports.

The Honduran Congress has since named an interim president, Roberto Micheletti.

The last off-base operation was June 26 when U.S. servicemembers concluded a medical readiness exercise, Appin said.

Army Col. Richard A. Juergens, commander of Soto Cano, ordered the air base closed following Zelaya’s removal. “No one is allowed off base except for emergency situations,” Appin said. “All travel is restricted.”

U.S. forces have served in Honduras since the early 1980s. A mix of active and reserve component servicemembers work with local forces and local institutions. Servicemembers deploy for either six months or a year to Soto Cano, Appin said.

(From a report by Jim Garamone, American Forces Press Service.)

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