RIO DE JANEIRO – The ninth iteration of the Marine Leaders of the Americas Conference (MLAC) began May 23 with the main purpose of bringing together the most senior leaders of the Marine Corps and Naval Infantries from North, South, and Central America to foster professional relationships and discuss key topics in security and defense.
The MLAC is a bi-annual event conducted in various locations throughout Latin America. This year’s MLAC is held in Rio de Janeiro and Marine/Naval Infantry participants included: Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Cameroon, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Netherlands, Honduras, Great Britain, Mexico, Namibia, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Sao Tome and Principe, Uruguay, and the United States.
Co-hosted by the U.S. and Brazilian governments, MLAC 2022 is primarily run by the Brazilian Marine Corps and offers a critical venue for key leaders to discuss and collaborate on the complex challenges that face the region. The theme for this year’s event is “Security and Defense of the Americas: the present and the future.”
“The importance of gathering our Marine and Naval Infantry leaders together at the MLAC cannot be overstated. We all have a deep relationship through shared challenges, shared values, and a shared neighborhood in the Western Hemisphere,” said Lieutenant General David Bellon, commander U.S. Marine Corps Forces, South. “These opportunities to come together are significant in advancing our collective security. We are grateful to our Brazilian hosts for organizing this year’s event and continuing to stand out as a leader in the region.”
Brazil is a leader in naval operations and maritime domain awareness due to their size, strong economy, established defense industry, operational experience, and global projection of military forces. In addition to hosting the MLAC this year, Brazil is hosting exercise UNITAS 2022, the longest-running multinational maritime exercise in the world, which also coincides with the bicentennial anniversary of the Brazilian Navy.