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James visits Airmen supporting Honduras mission

First Lt. Jose Marreo, the 612th Air Base Squadron flight commander, informs Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James the support his unit provides to Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras, April 8, 2016. Marreo is a native of Puerto Rico and currently oversees the logistics flight, which provides support to transient aircraft, airfield logistics, vehicle maintenance, and fuel services. (U.S. Army photo/Martin Chahin)

First Lt. Jose Marreo, the 612th Air Base Squadron flight commander, informs Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James the support his unit provides to Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras, April 8, 2016. Marreo is a native of Puerto Rico and currently oversees the logistics flight, which provides support to transient aircraft, airfield logistics, vehicle maintenance, and fuel services. (U.S. Army photo/Martin Chahin)

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James talks to Airmen stationed at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras, April 8, 2016, during a town hall meeting. During the discussion, James highlighted that even though the bulk of Defense Department attention and resources are dedicated elsewhere, the Airmen supporting U.S. Southern Command still make available resources go a long way toward helping the U.S. and partner nations in the region. (U.S. Army photo/Martin Chahin)

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James talks to Airmen stationed at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras, April 8, 2016, during a town hall meeting. During the discussion, James highlighted that even though the bulk of Defense Department attention and resources are dedicated elsewhere, the Airmen supporting U.S. Southern Command still make available resources go a long way toward helping the U.S. and partner nations in the region. (U.S. Army photo/Martin Chahin)

SOTO CANO AIR BASE, Honduras (AFNS) -- The men and women of Joint Task Force-Bravo hosted Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James April 8 at Soto Cano Air Base, as she wrapped up her visit to various units in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility.

James used her time during the visit to meet with Airmen of the 612th Air Base Squadron and other task force members to discuss the importance the base plays in the Central and South American regions.

"It's no secret that the bulk of the resources and attention goes to the Middle East because of issues like (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), or to Europe because of Russia, or the Pacific because of what's happening in the South China Sea," she said. "Here in the SOUTHCOM AOR we're getting fewer people and fewer dollars on the ground but you're really making those resources go a long way, proving that a little bit does go a long way."

Upon arriving, James attended a discussion on the SOUTHCOM mission in Central America, covering topics including multinational firefighter training to build partner nation capacity, support to counterdrug operations, and humanitarian aid and disaster relief capabilities the base either supports or facilitates.

James also took time to talk with Airmen assigned to JTF-Bravo to discuss force-wide issues she's looking to address, including force size and structure, the new retirement system, the budget, and taking care of people.

The primary focus of her visit centered on the Airmen, expressing her gratitude for their service as they explained how they support the SOUTHCOM mission at various work stations around the base.

"It is an honor and privilege to be able to stand here with you at Soto Cano," she said. "The mission you have at Joint Task Force-Bravo directly affects our safety and security back home as well as that of our partner nations here."

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