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News | April 6, 2024

Gen. Richardson Meets with President Milei, Defense Leaders in Argentina

By U.S. Southern Command Public Affairs

MIAMI (April 6, 2024) -- U.S. Army Gen. Laura Richardson, commander of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), visited Argentina this week where she met with Argentine President Javier Milei and senior defense leaders and took part in the U.S.-provided donation of a C-130H Hercules aircraft to the country’s air force.

The general’s visit aimed to foster dialogue and collaboration with the country's new government and defense leaders and underscore the long-standing commitment to enhancing the strategic partnership between both countries.

On April 3, Richardson met in Buenos Aires with Defense Minister Luis Petri and Brig. Gen. Xavier Isaac, head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Argentine Armed Forces and discussed strengthening the long-standing military collaboration between both nations, deepening regional security and promoting shared interests. The general also met with Cabinet Chief Nicolás Posse and Minister of Foreign Affairs Diana Mondino.

Later on the 3rd, Richardson joined Argentine service members and defense officials for a panel discussion on the advancement of the Women, Peace, and Security initiative.

On April 4, Richardson traveled to Ushuaia in southern Argentina and engaged with local military personnel to learn about their missions and the critical role they play in safeguarding shipping routes vital to global trade. In the late evening of the 4th, President Milei traveled to Ushuaia to meet with Richardson to discuss cooperation.

On April 5, Richardson joined President Milei and senior Argentine defense officials for a ceremony in Buenos Aires to mark the transfer of a C-130H Hercules transport aircraft to the Argentine Air Force. The aircraft is valued at approximately $34 million and is part of a US-funded security assistance donation.

“This C-130 can do it all. From routine transport to humanitarian and disaster relief operations to supporting Antarctic scientific research," Richardson stated during remarks at the donation ceremony. "The donation of this $34 million aircraft from the United States will have a direct and immediate positive impact on Argentine aviation operations, increasing C-130 capabilities by at least 25%."

"This donation is a testament to the deep relations shared between the United States and Argentina, and demonstrates the power of partnership,” said Richardson.

Late on the 5th, Richardson met with Argentine Vice President Victoria Villarruel to discuss deepening U.S.-Argentine defense cooperation. 

U.S. defense funding for security cooperation with Argentina exceeds $625 million this fiscal year, and is focused on key areas of mutual interest, such as professional and capacity development, cyber defense, and disaster preparedness.

This was Richardson's 3rd visit to Argentina as commander of SOUTHCOM.

"The United States and Argentina share both a friendship and a partnership that has lasted over 200 years. Our bond is grounded by an unwavering commitment to democracy and its underlying values of respect for human rights and the rule of law,” said Richardson at the C-130H donation ceremony.