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Friendly Neighbors: US Northern Command is working on boosting military-to-military engagements with Mexico, said Army Maj. Gen. Francis Mahon, NORTHCOM's director for strategy, plans, and policy. The southern neighbor is becoming increasingly receptive to a closer bilateral relationship, said Mahon in a Jan. 22 Pentagon release. "During the past two to three years, as the Mexican army and Mexican navy have taken on a larger role beyond internal security issues, our relationship with them has really grown and expanded through security cooperation," he said. "They have opened up to us and said, 'Let's start working closer and closer together.'" Through the partnership, the two countries' militaries will tackle a variety of problems ranging from organized crime to humanitarian assistance, states the release. Mexico also is studying some US training techniques and procedures, such as military evacuation. "The scope and breadth of things we are doing with our Mexican partners is very wide," said Mahon. (AFPS report by Donna Miles)