Forward Operating Location (FOL) Comalapa began operations on Aug. 29, 2000 following the closure of Howard Air Force Base in Panama and changed its name to Cooperative Security Location (CSL) Comalapa in 2009. CSL Comalapa operates according to the original bi-lateral agreement between the United States and El Salvador signed in 2000 having exercised five-year extensions via diplomatic notes since then. In July 2019, the agreement was extended to 2024. It is permanently manned by 40 active and reserve Sailors, complimented by multiple detachments with temporary assigned personnel. Its mission is to provide critical logistics, infrastructure, and operations support to forward-deployed U.S. and allied aviation units participating in, or supporting, Joint Interagency Task Force-South (JIATF-S) Campaign MARTILLO, directed humanitarian missions, and search and rescue (SAR) efforts.
CSL Comalapa operates from a Salvadoran Air Force base located approximately 26 miles South East of San Salvador. This base is co-located with the El Salvador International Airport (MSLP) and includes support facilities and an aircraft-parking ramp with capability to support six medium-sized aircraft. CSL Comalapa serves as a hub of operations for maritime patrol aircraft directed by U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command Task Force 47, the U.S. Air Force P9-A (GOCO), U.S. Coast Guard C-130 and HH-65s, Canadian CP140, and contracted UAVs supporting JIATF-S counter narcotics missions.