Belmopan – U.S. Embassy Belmopan welcomed the official visit of Major General Barry Cornish, the 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) commander to Belize from January 25-27. Gen. Cornish is the highest-ranking U.S. military official to visit Belize since
During his visit, Gen. Cornish met with senior officials from Belize’s Ministry of National Defense and Border Security as well as representatives of the Belize Defense Forces to emphasize the strong and enduring security partnership between the United States and Belize. This included a meeting on January 26 with the Minister of National Defense and Border Security Hon. Florencio Marin, Minister of State Hon. Oscar Mira, CEO Brigadier General (Retired) Dario Tapia, Chief of Defense Rear Admiral John Borland, Belize Defence Force Commander Brigadier General John Borland, BDF Air Wing Commander LTC Raymond Shepherd, and Director Alford Grinage of the Joint Intelligence Operation Center.
U.S. Embassy Belmopan Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Keith Gilges observed that the visit by the high-level commander of Air Forces Southern (AFSOUTH) underscored the importance of the U.S. relationship with Belize, “We live in challenging times, which currently include threats from natural disasters, instable borders, drugs and transnational crime, and of course COVID-19. Gen. Cornish’s visit demonstrates the priority that the United States places on our partnership with Belize since our militaries’ long standing partnership continues to play a critical role in addressing these challenges together.”
As the Air Force component to U.S. Southern Command, AFSOUTH conducts security cooperation and provides air, space, and cyberspace capabilities throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. AFSOUTH supports U.S. Southern Command to deter aggression, defeat threats, rapidly respond to crises and work with our allies and partner nations to build regional capabilities to ensure a free, secure, and prosperous Western Hemisphere.