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News | May 28, 2022

CSL Comalapa Holds Change of Command


Cmdr. Victor Barba relieved Cmdr. Foster Edwards as commanding officer of the Cooperative Security Location (CSL) Comalapa, El Salvador, May 26, 2022.

During his tenure at CSL, Edwards led the support of full-spectrum military and interagency flight operations, directly supporting the National Drug Control Strategy in the Eastern Pacific and Caribbean Sea. He coordinated U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Coast Guard, Royal Canadian Air Force, and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol air assets to support Joint Interagency Task Force-South’s counter narcotics efforts in the region. He oversaw multiple installation projects to improve security, logistical support, and operational success of the CSL.

“I would like to thank everyone here for making this such a successful tour, we accomplished a lot together," said Edwards. “I have enjoyed working closely with the local Salvadoran forces and the unique opportunity I have had here to foster a lasting partnership. This team’s efforts to support complex interagency operations, conduct humanitarian missions, and execute critical counter narcotics operations have proven vital to regional security and stability. I’m proud to have had the privilege to lead them.

” Edwards is a native of Atlanta and a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and Naval War College. He is a designated naval aviator, qualifying on the MH-60R helicopter.

In previous tours, he served as Mini Boss onboard USS Bataan (LHD-5), as a department head with Helicopter Maritime Strike (HSM) Squadron 74, Chief Flight Instructor at HSM-40, and in the Joint Fires Element at U.S. Strategic Command.

Edwards’ next assignment is U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet in Mayport, Fla.

Barba is originally from Oxon Hill, Md. He is a naval aviator, qualified on the MH-60S helicopter. He is a graduate of both the Air Force Institute of Technology and the University of Maryland. This will serve as his first command ashore.

"I am grateful to have this opportunity and look forward to working with such a great team," Barba said. “The foundation in place is strong and I am excited to be able to build upon the relationship with our Salvadoran partners that is already well established to support our mutual interests in the region and keep these waters safe.”

Barba has served as a department head at Helicopter Sea Combat (HSC) Squadron 22, as an Advanced Helicopter Instructor Pilot with Helicopter Training Squadron 28, and most recently as MQ-8 introduction team officer in charge at Helicopter Sea Combat Wing, Pacific leading the MQ-8C fleet introduction. CSL Comalapa is a forward operating location in El Salvador that is overseen by U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet. The CSL provides dedicated logistical, infrastructure, and operational support to air and naval operations in the U.S. Southern Command’s area of responsibility. It allows U.S. and partner nation aircraft to use an existing airfield to support the region’s multinational efforts to Combat Transnational Organized Crime (CTOC) as well as participating in exercises and humanitarian missions when directed.
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