US Admiral in Guyana from today
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US Navy Admiral, Craig Faller
US Navy Admiral, Craig Faller

– signing of agreement, joint press conference with GDF set for Tuesday

COMMANDER of the United States (US) Southern Command, Navy Admiral, Craig Faller, will be in Guyana on a three-day visit, starting today, as joint security efforts between Guyana and the US are being bolstered. According to a press release from the US Embassy in Georgetown, the Admiral will meet with government and defence leaders and discuss the bilateral security partnership between the US and Guyana. He will meet with both President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali and Chief-of-Staff of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), Brigadier Godfrey Bess.

On Tuesday, Admiral Faller will sign an Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement with Brigadier Bess at State House. There will be a brief, joint press conference following that signing ceremony. This agreement between the two countries’ militaries paves the way for the exchange of goods and services of equal value to support future bilateral defence cooperation. The US Southern Command falls under the purview of the US Department of Defense.

The Command works to strengthen partnerships in several areas including security, humanitarian assistance, foreign disaster relief, human rights, and public-private cooperation. Additionally, the body focuses on countering threats such as narcotics operations, transnational criminal organisations, among others.

And the Southern Command’s area of responsibility covers the land mass of Latin America south of Mexico, the waters adjacent to Central and South America and the Caribbean Sea. This area encompasses 31 countries and 16 dependencies, and Guyana is one of those countries. The body has representation from the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and several other federal agencies and has security cooperation with defence and public-security forces in the region.

“The United States and Guyana have a longstanding history of security cooperation. The defense partnership between the two countries includes collaboration against regional threats and challenges, capacity-building engagements, bilateral training, expertise exchanges, exercises, and participation in military education programs,” the US embassy noted.

In September, US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, visited Guyana and the two countries signed a Shiprider agreement which allows for maritime cooperation between the two countries. Joint exercises between the GDF Coast Guard and their US counterparts began recently, operationalising this agreement.

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