Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, the Ranking Member of the Senate’s Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere Affairs, met today with General John Kelly, who was recently installed as the commander for U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM). General Kelly was on Capitol Hill for his first round of meetings as the new commander. 

Senator Rubio and General John Kelly 2Senator Rubio and General John Kelly

Kelly and Rubio expressed their desire to see enhanced military to military cooperation and training exercises between the U.S. and partner nations in the hemisphere to help build the capacity and capability of Latin American governments to counter illicit trafficking in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific. “I look forward to working with General Kelly, his staff and all of the men and women who serve at SOUTHCOM headquarters,” said Rubio.

U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), located in Doral, FL, is one of nine unified Combatant Commands (COCOMs) in the Department of Defense.  SOUTHCOM is responsible for providing contingency planning, operations, and security cooperation for Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. The command oversees the force protection of U.S. military resources at these locations. SOUTHCOM is also responsible for ensuring the defense of the Panama Canal and canal area.  SOUTHCOM is a joint command comprised of more than 1,200 military and civilian personnel representing the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and several other federal agencies.

High resolution photos of today’s meeting are available, below.