22 Years of Continued Partnership - Connecticut Guard Command Team Builds Bonds in Uruguay
1 / 13 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A welcome folder from the U.S. Embassy rests on a table alongside an Army Green Service Uniform service cap inside the Hyatt Centric Montevideo Hotel, Montevideo, Uruguay, August 8, 2022. Members of the Connecticut Army National Guard traveled to Uruguay to enhance the bonds between both nations. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Matthew Lucibello) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Matthew Lucibello) VIEW ORIGINAL
22 Years of Continued Partnership - Connecticut Guard Command Team Builds Bonds in Uruguay
2 / 13 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Francis Evon, left, the Connecticut Adjutant General, visits U.S. Department of State Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Eric Geelan, center, and U.S. Department of State Chargé d'Affaires Karl Rios, right, inside the Chief of Mission’s Residence, Montevideo, Uruguay, August 8, 2022. The Connecticut National Guard team also met with political, economic, consular and regional security representatives during their country team meeting. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Matthew Lucibello) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Matthew Lucibello) VIEW ORIGINAL
22 Years of Continued Partnership - Connecticut Guard Command Team Builds Bonds in Uruguay
3 / 13 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Cpt. Juan Torres Santiago, center, bilateral affairs officer assigned to the Office of Defense Cooperation, speaks with Uruguayan Naval officers during a visit to the Estado Mayor De la Defensa, Montevideo, Uruguay, August 8, 2022. The Office of Defense Cooperation maintains close ties with the Joint Defense staff to coordinate all military activities between the United States and Uruguay. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Matthew Lucibello) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Matthew Lucibello) VIEW ORIGINAL
22 Years of Continued Partnership - Connecticut Guard Command Team Builds Bonds in Uruguay
4 / 13 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Francis Evon, the Connecticut Adjutant General, renders a hand salute alongside officers of the Uruguayan Air Force at the Capt. Juan Manuel Boiso Lanza Air Base, Montevideo, Uruguay, August 8, 2022. Evon was given a tour of the base and was briefed on the equipment, capabilities and mission of the Uruguayan Air Force and discussed ways to collaborate in the future. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Matthew Lucibello) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Matthew Lucibello) VIEW ORIGINAL
22 Years of Continued Partnership - Connecticut Guard Command Team Builds Bonds in Uruguay
5 / 13 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Uruguayan Air Force Brig. Gen. Fernando Colina, left, is presented the Defense Meritorious Service Medal by U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Francis Evon, right, the Connecticut Adjutant General, during an awards ceremony at the Capt. Juan Manuel Boiso Lanza Air Base, Montevideo, Uruguay, August 8, 2022. Evon presented Defense Meritorious Service Medals to officers of the Uruguayan Air Force that previously served as attachés to the United States for providing expert insight and advancing issues of major importance to the United States and Uruguay. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Matthew Lucibello) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Matthew Lucibello) VIEW ORIGINAL
22 Years of Continued Partnership - Connecticut Guard Command Team Builds Bonds in Uruguay
6 / 13 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Francis Evon, left, the Connecticut Adjutant General, listens to a brief presented by Uruguayan Navy commander Adm. Jorge Wilson, right, at the Comando General de la Armada Nacional, Montevideo, Uruguay, August 9, 2022. Evon was briefed by Wilson on the equipment, capabilities and mission of the Uruguayan Navy and discussed ways to enhance their partnership in the future. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Matthew Lucibello) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Matthew Lucibello) VIEW ORIGINAL
22 Years of Continued Partnership - Connecticut Guard Command Team Builds Bonds in Uruguay
7 / 13 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Francis Evon, the Connecticut Adjutant General, inscribes a message into the record book of Uruguayan Navy commander Adm. Jorge Wilson at the Comando General de la Armada Nacional, Montevideo, Uruguay, August 9, 2022. The gesture, albeit small, reflects the camaraderie and commitment between the Uruguayan Armed Forces and the Connecticut National Guard in their now 22 year old partnership toward the defense of their nations and global peace. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Matthew Lucibello) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Matthew Lucibello) VIEW ORIGINAL
22 Years of Continued Partnership - Connecticut Guard Command Team Builds Bonds in Uruguay
8 / 13 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Francis Evon, left, the Connecticut Adjutant General, and Uruguayan Army Maj. Gen. Luis Mangini, right, Army Chief of Staff, study a painting commemorating the Battle of Las Piedras inside the Comando General del Ejército, Montevideo, Uruguay, August 9, 2022. The Battle of Las Piedras was a major victory for Uruguayan revolutionaries and ultimately led to the independence of Uruguay. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Matthew Lucibello) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Matthew Lucibello) VIEW ORIGINAL
22 Years of Continued Partnership - Connecticut Guard Command Team Builds Bonds in Uruguay
9 / 13 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Francis Evon, left, the Connecticut Adjutant General, speaks with Uruguayan Army Maj. Gen. Luis Mangini, right, Army Chief of Staff, during a briefing inside the Comando General del Ejército, Montevideo, Uruguay, August 9, 2022. Evon was given a tour of the base and was briefed on the equipment, capabilities and mission of the Uruguayan Army and discussed ways with Mangini that the Connecticut National Guard and Uruguayan Army can collaborate in the future. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Matthew Lucibello) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Matthew Lucibello) VIEW ORIGINAL
22 Years of Continued Partnership - Connecticut Guard Command Team Builds Bonds in Uruguay
10 / 13 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Francis Evon, the Connecticut Adjutant General, is presented the medal of 18 May 1811 inside the Comando General del Ejército, Montevideo, Uruguay, August 9, 2022. The medal, which is the second highest award of the Uruguayan Army and commemorates the Battle of Las Piedras, was presented to Evon in recognition of the continued commitment of the Connecticut National Guard to the Uruguayan Army. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Matthew Lucibello) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Matthew Lucibello) VIEW ORIGINAL
22 Years of Continued Partnership - Connecticut Guard Command Team Builds Bonds in Uruguay
11 / 13 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Uruguayan Vice President Beatriz Argimón, left, speaks with U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Francis Evon, right, the Connecticut Adjutant General, inside the Legislative Palace of Uruguay, Montevideo, Uruguay, August 9, 2022. Argimón and Evon discussed the partnership between Uruguay and Connecticut, including ways to collaborate together in the future. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Matthew Lucibello) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Matthew Lucibello) VIEW ORIGINAL
22 Years of Continued Partnership - Connecticut Guard Command Team Builds Bonds in Uruguay
12 / 13 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Francis Evon, left, the Connecticut Adjutant General, shakes hands with a Uruguayan Army soldier, right, during a visit to the National Peace Operations Training School of Uruguay, or ENOPU, Montevideo, Uruguay, August 10, 2022. ENOPU is where Uruguayan military and police forces train to prepare themselves to deploy in support of United Nations peacekeeping operations. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Matthew Lucibello) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Matthew Lucibello) VIEW ORIGINAL
22 Years of Continued Partnership - Connecticut Guard Command Team Builds Bonds in Uruguay
13 / 13 Show Caption + Hide Caption – U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Francis Evon, the Connecticut Adjutant General, renders a hand salute alongside commanders of the Uruguayan Armed Forces during a ceremony at Cementerio del Norte, Montevideo, Uruguay, August 10, 2022. The ceremony, which is conducted annually, was held to honor Uruguay’s fallen airmen. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Matthew Lucibello) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Matthew Lucibello) VIEW ORIGINAL

HARTFORD, Conn. — Between August 6-10, 2022, U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Francis Evon, the Connecticut adjutant general, and other officers of the Connecticut Army National Guard, visited Montevideo, Uruguay, to strengthen bonds with our partners in the Uruguayan Armed Forces.

Uruguay, renowned for upholding the values of democracy and peace in South America, on top of being one of the most prosperous countries in the region, has been partnered with Connecticut through the State Partnership Program since August of 2000. Additionally, Uruguay heavily supports United Nations peacekeeping operations, having participated in 23 peacekeeping missions since 1952, even being named the top peacekeeping contributor in Western Hemisphere in 2021. Currently, Uruguay's largest singular contribution to the United Nations is its support of over 900 peacekeepers to the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, also known as MONUSCO.

“One out of every 3,000 Uruguayans is on a U.N. peacekeeping mission at any given time,'' said U.S. Army 1st Lt. Juan Villarreal, the Global Peacekeeping Operations Initiative Program Manager at the U.S. Embassy in Uruguay. “20 percent of the armed forces, and nearly all Army officers, have participated in at least one mission.”

The State Partnership Program, or SPP, administered by the National Guard Bureau and guided by the U.S. State Department, builds interoperability and cooperation between host nation countries and the United States through military-to-military engagements, such as joint training exercises, bilateral exchanges and key leader engagements. Each state’s National Guard is aligned with at least one partner nation. Currently, there are 85 partnerships between 93 partner nations.

Over the course of the past 22 years, Uruguay and Connecticut have trained together, most recently when members of the 192nd Engineer Battalion conducted counter improvised explosive device training in Montevideo alongside soldiers of the Uruguayan Army between July 17-20, 2022. Leaders of both the Connecticut National Guard and Armed Forces of Uruguay frequently visit each other to share experience and lessons learned through training and operations conducted by each force.

This trip marked the first time Evon has visited Uruguay since becoming the Adjutant General in July of 2018.

As part of the trip, Evon visited the Chief of Mission's Residence and met with Chargé d'Affaires Karl Rios, Deputy Chief of Mission Eric Geelan and Senior Defense Official of the Office of Defense Cooperation U.S. Air Force Col. Gary Symon. Following that visit, Evon visited the Estado Mayor De la Defensa, part of the Uruguayan Ministry of Defense, and numerous Uruguayan military installations including the Capt. Juan Manuel Boiso Lanza Air Base, Comando General de la Armada Nacional, Comando General del Ejército and the National Peace Operations Training School of Uruguay, also known as ENOPU, where Uruguayan service members go for pre-deployment training in participation of U.N. peacekeeping missions.

While visiting these sites, Evon met with senior officials of the Uruguayan Army, Air Force and Navy, to include Army commander Gen. Gerardo Fregossi, Air Force commander Gen. Luis De León, and Navy commander Adm. Jorge Wilson. Additionally, Evon also met with members of the Uruguayan Joint Staff to include Chief of the Joint Staff Gen. Rodolfo Pereyra and Army Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Luis Mangini.

Evon and his staff were briefed by their Uruguayan counterparts on the capabilities, equipment and missions of each respective organization and discussed ways to incorporate the Connecticut National Guard in future joint engagements. Evon also presented Defense Meritorious Service Medals to officers, from each Uruguayan service, that previously served as an attaché to the United States for providing expert insight and advancing issues of major importance to the United States and Uruguay, in addition to facilitating training and operations between the two nations.

Evon himself was presented with the medal of 18 May 1811, the second highest military award of the Uruguayan Army, by Army commander Gen. Gerardo Fregossi at the Comando General del Ejército on Aug. 9, 2022, in recognition of the dedicated support the Connecticut National Guard had provided Uruguay throughout the history of the partnership.

The trip concluded with a visit to the Legislative Palace of Uruguay, where Evon met and spoke with Uruguayan senators as well as Uruguayan Vice President Beatriz Argimón, discussing items of mutual defense interest and ways to collaborate in the future. Lastly, Evon attended a wreath laying ceremony at the Cementerio del Norte, to commemorate Uruguay’s fallen airmen. In attendance were all of the Uruguayan service chiefs as well as the Minister of Defense Javier García and the President of the Republic Luis Lacalle Pou.