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Health care is provided by the medical element. The 1st Battalion, 228th Air Force Regiment 228th will perform a wide variety of air assistance missions throughout Central and South America with the UH-60 Black Hawk and CH-47 Chinook helicopters. U.S. forces are invited to the base, which houses the Honduran Air Force Academy. Soto Cano is not an American facility, as some media report. The GAO examined whether the U.S. military presence at Soto Cano Air Base in Honduras was essential to current U.S. operations and objectives in the region, focusing on: (1) the cost of maintaining U.S. forces on base; (2) the United States` objectives for regional economic growth and democratic reforms; (3) anti-drug activities; and (4) the withdrawal of U.S. forces from an air base in Panama.

The Honduran Constitution does not allow a permanent presence abroad in Honduras. [7] A handshake agreement between the United States and Honduras allows JTF-Bravo to remain in Honduras on a “semi-permanent” basis. This agreement, which is attached to the 1954 military aid agreement between the United States and Honduras, can be repealed without notice. Soto Cano accommodation for American staff is composed of “Hooches” with a tin roof, with air conditioners and fans for cooling. Metal dormitories are more durable structures and have air conditioning systems. Both have beds and other furniture, television, refrigerators and microwave. The hooves and metal barracks had no running water. However, latrines, showers and toilets were central to residential areas.

Three brand new barracks were opened in February 2015, demolishing the Hooches and renaming staff to better apartments. Volleyball courts, barbecues and bohios (covered picnic areas) are also located throughout the base. All home facilities, such as the post office, library, dining room, fitness centre, swimming pool and basic exchanges, are a five-minute walk away. GAO stated that: (1) the U.S. military presence in Soto Cano provides useful but minimal support to some U.S. government activities in the region, but there is insufficient justification to maintain the presence; (2) The U.S. armed forces should support U.S. military training exercises, humanitarian and civic aid exercises and anti-drug operations in Honduras; 3. The army recognizes that training in the region can be provided without a semi-autonomous logistical support base; (4) Federal officials believe they can continue their regional operations without the support of the U.S. military in Soto Cano; (5) Soto Cano provides minimal support for U.S.

drug activities; (6) Soto Cano`s potential as a support mechanism for military operations in Latin America is limited by the lack of a basic agreement with Honduras, its limited capabilities and political issues; and (7) The abolition of the U.S. military presence in Soto Cano would have minimal impact on current U.S. missions and potentially result in budget savings. Recommendation: The Commissioner of Customs, the Administrator, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Secretaries of State and Defense, in collaboration with the Director, the Office of National Drug Control Policy, should develop a plan to conduct their operations without U.S. military units in Soto Cano. José Enrique Soto Cano Air Base is a military facility in Honduras.