Welcome Remarks by Senior Defense Department Official Col. Brian Symon

Coronel Symon habla con la prensa de Uruguay

“Good morning, I’m Colonel Symon of the U.S. Air Force, Defense Attaché here in Uruguay at the U.S. Embassy.

We are proud to welcome the Stone, one of the U.S. Coast Guard’s newest and most technologically sophisticated vessels, here to Uruguay once again. This is her second visit here in two years. I offer appreciation and thank the Government of Uruguay for authorizing this visit. The Stone and her crew traveled 8,000 kilometers from their home in Charleston, South Carolina to be with us in Montevideo. They are spending time away from families to demonstrate appreciation for the values of freedom, democracy, and sovereignty.

During my three years here in Uruguay, we’ve worked hard to increase our interaction with Uruguay’s military. We have focused our engagements on missions important to the people of Uruguay as well as those of the United States. This ship is a commitment to the protection of the natural resources in our global seas from exploitation. It has a law-enforcement mission to ensure the oceans are protected from illegal activity of all kinds. We plan on conducting exercises with the Uruguay Navy during the ship’s time here, in accordance with the permissions provided by Uruguay’s Parliament. We appreciate the support of the Uruguayan Navy, along with the Ministry of Defense and Parliament. Their support has made this visit possible. Also, we are making the ship available for tours for the Uruguayan press tomorrow, which will be coordinated through our Embassy’s Public Affairs Office.

Finally, this visit is a perfect start to the 70th Anniversary celebration of the Mutual Defense Agreement between Uruguay and the United States, signed in 1953. Since then, the Office of Defense Cooperation has worked to strengthen this bilateral relationship, and help Uruguay’s military develop the capabilities it needs to defend its borders, and participate in Peace Keeping Missions around the world. We are extremely proud of this relationship, and hope to continue this partnership, and the benefits it brings the people of both our countries, for many more years into the future. Thank you.”