The commander of U.S. Southern Command, U.S. Army General Laura J. Richardson, visited Panama October 17-18 where she led the U.S. delegation for the sixth meeting of the High-Level Security Dialogue (HLSD) between Panama and the United States.
The visit was Gen. Richardson’s second to Panama as commander of SOUTHCOM. In addition to the HLSD, the general joined Panamanian President Laurentino Cortizo for a ceremony October 17 as the United States donated a King Air 250 maritime patrol aircraft to Panama.
During the HLSD on October 17, delegations from both nations discussed issues such as irregular migration, the importance of a domain forfeiture law, prevention of money laundering and illegal fishing, as well as the fight against drug trafficking and organized crime. The four pillars of the bilateral security dialogue were border security, citizen security, maritime security, and cybersecurity.
Gen. Richardson also met with President Cortizo October 17 to discuss bilateral cooperation on security issues.
During the maritime aircraft donation ceremony, the United States delivered the donated King Air 250 aircraft to President Cortizo. The aircraft was purchased through the Department of Defense’s Foreign Military Finance (FMF) program for $12 million and will strengthen the capacity of Panamanian security forces in the fight against drug trafficking and illegal fishing, in search and rescue missions, and disaster response.