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News | June 14, 2024

Gen. Richardson meets with Defense Leaders in Chile

By U.S. Southern Command Public Affairs

MIAMI (June 14, 2024) -- U.S. Army Gen. Laura Richardson, Commander of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), visited Chile June 10-13 and met with top defense leaders to discuss the U.S.-Chile defense partnership.

Richardson’s visit Chile, her third as SOUTHCOM commander, underscores the longstanding defense partnership between both nations.

In Santiago on June 11, the general met with Defense Minister Maya Fernández Allende and Chilean Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Pablo Niemann Figari to discuss continued defense cooperation. She later met with Chilean Air Force leaders, including General Leonardo Romanini Gutierrez and General Luis Sáez Collantes to discuss Chile-U.S. engagement and cooperation.

Also on the 11th, Richardson joined Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro for a panel hosted by U.S. Ambassador to Chile Bernadette Meehan that focused on the U.S. Navy’s current Southern Seas 2024 deployment to South America. The panel was attended by Chilean military, government and private sector leaders and dignitaries.

On June 12, the general and Meehan visited the Bomberos de Chile's headquarters of the 3rd Company of San Bernardo as local leaders held a ceremony to thank the United States for donating firefighting equipment to Chile.

On the final day of her visit, Richardson met with General Javier Iturriaga Del Campo, Commander in Chief of the Chilean Army, to discuss continued bilateral engagement with both nations’ armies. Later the general joined Chilean military leaders and service members for a Women, Peace, and Security engagement and to celebration marking the 50th anniversary of the integration of women in the Chilean army.

Chile is one of the United States’ most important strategic allies in Latin America due to its excellent bilateral military relations, as well as its leadership in promoting regional security cooperation, defense collaboration, and multinational partnerships.