Last week, US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) commander Admiral Craig Faller travelled to Uruguay and Argentina to meet the countries’ defense officials. The Admiral’s delegation was focused on discussing matters of regional security and military cooperation but also “took part in donations of humanitarian equipment, mobile hospitals and medical equipment”. The Admiral was in Uruguay between 6-7 April and in Argentina between 7-9 April.
In Uruguay, Faller participated in two main meetings. The first was with top Uruguayan military and civilian officials and focused on bilateral defense relations which tackled diverse issues such has peacekeeping, responding to natural disasters and fighting illegal fishing. The second was a discussion with Uruguayan military personnel who have received training in the United States through the State Department’s International Military Education and Training program. During the Admiral’s stay, additional military equipment, including helicopter parts, were donated by the US. Faller’s visit was the first by a SOUTHCOM commander to Uruguay since 2016.
In Argentina, the stay was a day longer but the details were largely the same. The admiral’s delegation once again met top defense officials including Minister of Defense Agustin Rossi and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Juan Martin Paleo. The Admiral went on to participate in ceremonies for the donation of US equipment to Argentina. Three field hospitals were donated on 8 April. Search and rescue equipment was donated on 9 April.
According to the Admiral:
“These donations and commitments build on a long tradition. Over the past two decades, the United States has provided more than $140 billion in global health assistance. The virus has already cost millions of lives around the world. We must continue working together to prevent further tragedy and we are proud to have a strong partner in Argentina.”
Faller’s trip was not the only major recent visit by a US Admiral. On the other side of the Pacific, Japanese Emperor Naruhito presented the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun to Admiral Davidson for his contributions to the US-Japan alliance. The Indo-Pacific Command commander went on to meet with Japanese Defense Minister Kishi were the two discussed the alliance, noting that it has only become closer and more comprehensive in recent years.