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News | July 24, 2023

SOUTHCOM Commander Visits Panama, Colombia

MIAMI -- The commander of U.S. Southern Command, U.S. Army Gen. Laura Richardson, met with Panamanian and Colombian leaders during official visits to each nation July 19 – 21.

During the visit to Panama, Richardson accompanied U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Hon. Gina Raimondo as the secretary met with senior Panamanian leaders July 20.

Secretary Raimondo met with President Laurentino Cortizo, Minister of Foreign Affairs Janaina Tewaney Mencomo, and Minister of Commerce and Industry Federico Alfaro to reaffirm both nations strong bilateral trade and economic ties. See more.

In Colombia, the general visited with U.S. and multinational forces participating in the UNITAS LXIV multinational maritime training exercise, including a visit to USS New York (LPD 21). The exercise, hosted by Colombia this year, includes forces from the United States and 19 nations. More than 7,000 personnel, 26 warships/vessels, three submarines, 25 aircraft took part in the nearly two-week exercise. Additionally, Colombia’s Navy celebrated its bicentennial anniversary, commemorating 200 years of the country’s maritime forces.

“Each of us wear a separate flag on our uniform. We represent a separate entity. We come together because individually we are strong, but together we are invincible,” said Richardson at the UNITAS closing ceremony July 21.

“When we come together for an exercise, we work through translation, we work through operations, we synchronize our maritime effects, we synchronize our air domain, our cyber domain, cyberspace. We bring it all together.”