FAU and U.S. Southern Command Team Up

Entrance to FAU in Boca Raton

By gisele galoustian | 7/27/2017

Florida Atlantic University and U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) have signed memorandums of understanding (MOUs) to pursue common goals for research collaboration and student internships. The latest MOU will help to facilitate cooperation between the two institutions in pursuing mutual objectives in Central and South America and the Caribbean.

FAU and SOUTHCOM signed their first MOU in 2016 to establish a student internship program with the primary goal of providing additional educational experiences for student interns at SOUTHCOM and to formalize the responsibilities and mechanisms for student internship sustainment and operation.  

SOUTHCOM, located in Miami, Fla. and responsible for military operations within South and Central America as well as the Caribbean, will work with FAU to pursue mutual objectives in humanitarian assistance and disaster response, international development, human rights, science and technology and security. SOUTHCOM is a joint command comprised of more than 1,200 military and civilian personnel representing the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and several other federal agencies. 

As part of the latest MOU, FAU and SOUTHCOM will work jointly to coordinate activities that will include subject matter expert exchanges, forums, conferences and seminars, community based capacity strengthening, humanitarian assistance, disaster response and information exchange. Through collaborative measures, FAU and SOUTHCOM will work to mitigate negative impacts of underdevelopment, instability, poverty and recurrent natural disasters in the areas of responsibility for SOUTHCOM to improve living conditions in these areas, which are critical to long-term regional security.

“We are very pleased to join forces with the United States Southern Command to explore areas of mutual interest that will have far-reaching benefits and impacts locally and in the regions they serve,” said Daniel C. Flynn, Ph.D., FAU’s vice president for research. “Our faculty and researchers have expertise and knowledge across the disciplines that will provide relevant viewpoints for strategic planning purposes, special exercises, and program and project development.”

SOUTHCOM is responsible for providing contingency planning, operations and security cooperation in its assigned areas of responsibility. It also is responsible for the force protection of U.S. military resources in these locations and for ensuring the defense of the Panama Canal.

"We look forward to a very productive relationship with Florida Atlantic University and we welcome the important contributions they will make as members of the academic community,” said Vic Ramdass, Ph.D., director of J9 Partnering directorate at SOUTHCOM.  

FAU’s four university-wide pillars are focused on institutional strengths that are responsible for economic development and entrepreneurial activities involving faculty, staff, students and the broader university community. The pillars leverage regional assets such as the ocean, patient populations, culture and business, to advance scientific understanding, discover new technologies and contribute to the economic vitality of the region. FAU’s four pillars are Healthy Aging (I-HeAL), FAU Brain Institute (I-Brain), the Institute for Sensing and Embedded Network Systems Engineering (I-SENSE) and FAU Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, which is in its fifth decade of working with marine science and technology partners on applied projects that produce positive environmental, societal and economic outcomes.