Soto Cano Air Base

Location
Soto Cano Air Base (also known as Palmerola Air Base) is a Honduran military base 5 miles to the south of Comayagua in Honduras. The air base became operational in 1981, changing from the old location at the Honduras Air Force Academy in Toncontin, Tegucigalpa.

The U.S. military uses Soto Cano as a launching point for its war on drugs efforts in Central America as well as humanitarian aid missions throughout Honduras and Central America.


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History
U.S. and Honduran forces conducted combined training exercises as early as 1965. In 1983, the Honduran government requested an increase in the size and number of those exercises. Joint Task Force-Bravo was established in August 1984 to exercise command and control of U.S. forces and exercises in the Republic of Honduras. It is a subordinate command of the U.S. Southern Command.

Before being designated JTF-Bravo in 1984, this task force was known as JTF-11 and then as JTF-Alpha. A historical timeline of the base follows:

1982 — Palmerola Air Base constructed
1983 — JTF-11 established and later re-designated as JTF – Alpha
1984 — JTF-Alpha re-designated as JTF-Bravo with added mission to deter Nicaraguan aggression (2,000+ personnel)
1992-1994 — Transitional period (1,130 personnel) — Bilateral hu-manitarian and civil assistance operations
1995 — Downsizing/Reorganization (710 personnel)
1996 — Revised OPORD Central Champs (499 personnel)
1997 — Commander in Chief’s Theater Engagement plan issued, calling for Soto Cano to serve as strategic gateway to the theater
1999 — 1st Battalion, 228th Avia-tion Regiment assigned as a tenant unit from Panama
2000 — 612th Air Base Squadron activation
2002 — JTF-Bravo’s mission revised to include joint and interagency operations
2007—JTF-Bravo dispatched medical team to Peru in re-sponse to severe earthquake; team arrived 20-hours after notification
2010 — JTF-Bravo supported Operation Unified Response (Haiti); showcasing its readiness

Mission
Joint Task Force-Bravo, as guests of our Honduran host-nation partners and the senior representative for USSOUTHCOM at Soto Cano Air Base, conducts and supports joint operations, actions, and activities throughout the joint operations area maintaining a forward presence in order to enhance regional security, stability, and cooperation.

U.S. Southern Command is the headquarters that directs U.S. military-to-military relations and engagement in Central America, South America and the Caribbean, and it helps foster security and stability by maintaining partnerships throughout the region.

U.S. Southern Command is one of ten Unified Combatant Commands within the U.S. Department of Defense. The joint command is comprised of more than 1,200 military and civilian personnel representing all branches of the U.S. military and numerous federal agencies. Under the leadership of a four-star commander, U.S. Southern Command conducts military operations and promotes security cooperation in Central America, South America and the Caribbean, in order to achieve U.S. national security objectives.

Passport & Clearances
A passport, civilian or official, is required to enter Honduras. Permanent change of station and temporary duty personnel are encouraged to obtain an official no-fee passport. Personnel traveling to Honduras in a TDY status for 29 days or less may enter the country with a valid identification card and travel orders in accordance with the Foreign Clearance Guide (https://www.fcg.pentagon.mil/fcg). All personnel are encouraged to initiate a passport request upon assignment notification. The Honduran Government, through coordination with the JTF-B Liaison at the U.S. Embassy, will allow personnel to enter the country for up to 90 days if the passport is delayed. Contact J1 for assistance with passport issues. Additionally, all personnel need to obtain Theater and Country Clearances prior to arrival (see Reporting Instruction for additional information).

Immunizations
The following immunizations must be valid for the duration of assignment: hepatitis A (two shot series with the second shot six months after the first), hepatitis B (required for medical personnel, recommended for non-medical), yellow fever, tetanus/diphtheria, typhoid, influenza, polio, and MMR. Negative HIV results must be recorded within six months of assignment and administration and recording of the results of the purified protein derivative test for tuberculosis.

All personnel must take anti-malaria medications while at Soto Cano Air Base, and the drugs of choice are either once weekly chloroquine or once daily doxycycline. All TDY personnel should receive these medications from their home station, and receive enough supply to cover their entire length of stay plus an additional 30 days. PCS personnel should arrive with a minimum of 30 days supply of anti-malarial medications, and pick up monthly refills from the pharmacy. Tablets should start two weeks prior to arrival and continue while in country and for four weeks following redeployment. Due to the fact that pharmacy availability cannot be guaranteed due to supply limitations, personnel with chronic medications needs should bring sufficient quantities to cover the entire length of stay. Any personnel that do not bring enough chronic medications must enroll in the Tri-care Mail Order Pharmacy (TMOP), and will receive their medications in the mail.

Phone
The Honduras Country Code is 504. If calling from the United States commercial dial 011 504 2-234-4634. After connecting to the base operator, ask for the extension number or give the operator the person’s last name. You can dial direct via DSN at 449-4000.

Contact Information
Command Group/SJS x4177
J1- Personnel and Manpower x4114
J2- Intelligence x4120
J3- Operations x4413
J37- Engineering x4320
J4- Logistics x5076
J6- Communications x4922
J8- Budget/Contracting x4769
J9- Civil Military Operations x4151
S1- ARFOR/1-228th x4280/6471
Joint Security Forces x4170
612th ABS MSF x6717
Medical Element x4376
ASA Headquarters x4970
ASA, Community Relations x5009

Soto Cano Operator
DSN 449-4634
Commercial: 011-504-2234-4634