The Colombian Air Force (FAC, in Spanish), on October 6, received the first of three C-130 Hercules military transport aircraft, delivered by the U.S. government as part of the countries’ bilateral cooperation, during a ceremony presided over by Colombian President Iván Duque Márquez.
Colombian Foreign Affairs Minister Claudia Blum and Defense Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo; U.S. Ambassador to Colombia Philip Goldberg; Major General Barry R. Cornish, U.S. Air Forces Southern/12th Air Force commander; General Luis Fernando Navarro, commander of the Military Forces of Colombia; and General Ramsés Rueda, FAC commander, attended the event held at the Military Transport Air Command.
“It is a great honor for me, Ambassador Goldberg, to receive this element of cooperation, this clear demonstration of partnership between our peoples,” the head of state said, expressing appreciation for this show of cooperation and calling it a symbol of the “indivisible partnership” between the two countries.
He added that the delivery “marks a milestone, because it will be the first of three aircraft of this size that the United States donates to Colombia to strengthen our capabilities for territorial control and our capability to deploy troops in the territory, as well as to mobilize humanitarian aid as circumstances warrant.”
“For us, this is not only a display of military collaboration, but also of our air forces’ collaboration,” he said.
Meanwhile, the U.S. ambassador explained that the Hercules that joined the FAC belonged to the Air National Guard of the states of New York and Ohio, and was used in supply missions and humanitarian operations in U.S. communities.
“We are proud to make this donation, knowing that it will be in the hands of an Air Force that is as trained and professional as Colombia’s,” Goldberg said, adding that his country “values the enduring friendship with Colombia in all areas.”
“We will use [the aircraft] to continue defeating any threat to our security, but we will also use them to reach deep into Colombia with goods and services,” President Duque said.