U.S. Navy Admiral Craig S. Faller, commander of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), visited Guatemala July 13-14, where he met with President Alejandro Giammattei and military leaders to discuss security cooperation.
Adm. Faller’s contingent included SOUTHCOM’s Civilian Deputy to the Commander Francisco (Paco) Palmieri and Command Senior Enlisted Leader Command Sergeant Major Benjamin Jones.
During the presidential meeting July 13, Giammattei and Adm. Faller discussed joint efforts to combat drug trafficking and transnational organized crime.
That same day, Adm. Faller, Palmieri, and Command Sgt. Maj. Jones joined a roundtable discussion with Guatemala’s military and security members who’ve received training in the United States through the U.S. State Department Bureau of Political-Military Affairs’ International Military Education and Training (IMET) program.
The discussion also focused on the implementation of the Women, Peace, and Security initiative. Adm. Faller, Palmieri, and Command Sgt. Maj. Jones heard from Guatemalan service members as they shared their personal experiences and discussed the future of women in security roles.
The admiral met with Guatemalan Minister of Defense Major General Juan Carlos Alemán Soto and other military leaders July 14 to discuss continued security cooperation and future military-to-military engagements.
Adm. Faller also spent time with Guatemalan military members of the nation’s Special Battalion of Interdiction and Rescue (BEIR, in Spanish) as they conducted an airfield seizure demonstration. The elite unit is a key contributor to the regional fight against transnational criminal organizations and illicit traffickers.
Guatemala is an important security partner in the region, which provides valuable support to regional efforts to counter transnational criminal organizations.