The US Senate has confirmed the first woman to head the Southern Command.
It is about the four-star general Laura Richardson, with an experience of three decades in the Armed Forces. He will be in charge of the military presence in Latin America and the fight against drug trafficking.
The U.S. Senate on Wednesday confirmed Lt., Gen. Laura Richardson, as the new head of the country's Armed Forces Southern Command, making her the first woman to hold the post.
The Senate this morning gave the green light to the nomination of 57-year-old Richardson and his promotion as a four-star general.
At the same time, former Latino congressman Gil Cisneros was also confirmed as undersecretary of defense for personnel and preparedness issues.
The Southern Command, known by its acronym in English, Southcom, is the unit in charge of U.S. military operations in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Richardson's nomination for this position was announced by U.S. President Joe Biden on March 8 at the White House on International Women's Day.
Following her confirmation, Richardson became the second woman to lead a combat command in U.S. history after retired General Lori Robinson, who led the Northern Command between 2016 and 2018.
With Richardson's nomination, Biden announced on March 8 that he would lead his designated transportation command, General Jacqueline Van Ovost, who the upper house has not yet confirmed.
According to the New York Times, the Pentagon had approved the nominations of Richardson and Van Ovost for several months but decided to wait until after last November's election, which Biden won, because he feared that at the time. President Donald Trump will veto them. Appointment to be a woman
Richardson has been commander of the North Formation of the United States Army, based at Joint Base San Antonio (Texas), and the first woman to hold that position.
With his confirmation, he will lead the more than 1,200 military and civilians that make up the Southern Command, based in Doral (Florida).
Led by Admiral Craig Faller since 2018, the Southern Command has increased its military presence off the coast of Latin America in recent years to combat drug trafficking.
Richardson, who has served in the military for more than three decades, joined in 1986. His dream was to become a helicopter pilot, and he started training when he was 15 years old. However, women were not allowed to fly fighter jets.
As a soldier, she flew Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters. She served two combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan and served as a military adviser to former Vice President Al Gore (1993-2001), and transported the nuclear briefcase.
In 2017, Richardson became the first female deputy commander of the Army's highest command, known as Forscom, who came to lead on an interim basis in late 2018.
She has been married for more than 30 years to another three-star Lt. Gen. James Richardson, whom she met at Flight School, and with whom she has a daughter and granddaughter.