During her first official visit to Brazil, November 22-24, 2021, since assuming duties as commander of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) on October 29, U.S. Army General Laura J. Richardson, the first woman to lead the institution, met with government officials and military commanders at the Ministry of Defense in Brasilia to further strengthen the ties of cooperation between Brazil and the United States.
During her meeting with Brazilian Minister of Defense Walter Souza Braga Netto on November 23, Gen. Richardson addressed, among other topics, stronger cooperation in the defense area between both countries. On that occasion, the SOUTHCOM commander also met with Brazilian Army General Laerte de Souza Santos, head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Armed Forces.
“We have a longstanding partnership with Brazil, and so it was very important for me to visit Brazil early in my command. We reaffirmed U.S. commitment to Brazil for a secure, free, and prosperous hemisphere,” Gen. Richardson said.
While in Brasilia, she also attended meetings with the commanders of the Brazilian Navy (MB, in Portuguese), Admiral Almir Garnier Santos, and the Brazilian Army, General Paulo Sérgio Nogueira de Oliveira. The meetings focused on maximizing military-to-military engagements and increasing interoperability between the U.S. military and the Brazilian Armed Forces.
Brazil and the United States have recently carried out medical exchanges, allowing U.S. Navy doctors to work aboard this hospital ship to provide support for humanitarian missions.
At the end of the visit, Gen. Richardson reaffirmed SOUTHCOM’s commitment to the Brazilian Armed Forces, thanking the partnership and the work done by both countries.