U.S. Army General Laura Richardson, who made history as the first woman to lead U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), recently wrapped up three days of high-level meetings focused on the ties of long-standing bilateral defenses between the United States and Jamaica.
Richardson attended the Jamaica Defense Forces (JDF) change of command ceremony on Friday, in which Rear Admiral (RADM) Antonette Wemyss Gorman became the first woman to serve as head of state Major of Defense of Jamaica.
On Saturday, RADM Wemyss Gorman and GEN Richardson met at JDF Headquarters to discuss the ever-growing partnership between their organizations, common interests in security cooperation, and threats and challenges of common concern.
Richardson also met with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr. Horace Chang, to discuss opportunities for security cooperation in support of cyber engagements, local security and the fight against illicit trafficking. .
General Laura Richardson, Commander of United States Southern Command, shares a moment during the reception with Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security Dr. Horace Chang. Also present are Ambassador Jean Manes, Civilian Deputy and Foreign Policy Advisor, US Southern Command and Linnisa Wahid, Chargé d’Affaires, US Embassy Kingston.
The SOUTHCOM Commander began her trip Thursday at the U.S. Embassy, meeting with senior Embassy officials, including Chargé d’Affaires Linnisa Wahid, to reinforce the U.S. whole-of-government approach to supporting the security partnership. between the United States and Jamaica.
On the historic visit, Richardson was also joined by U.S. Air Force Major General Sherrie McCandless, who also made history in 2021 as the first woman to serve as National Guard Commanding General. of Washington, DC. The U.S. Capital National Guard has a state partnership with Jamaica established more than two decades ago.
This was General Richardson’s first visit to a Caribbean country as commander of SOUTHCOM.
Richardson visited Jamaica from January 20-22.