Mattis aide tapped to lead Southern Command

Mattis aide tapped to lead Southern Command
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Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisOvernight Defense: Trump to leave 200 troops in Syria | Trump, Kim plan one-on-one meeting | Pentagon asks DHS to justify moving funds for border wall Trump to leave 200 US troops in Syria as 'peacekeeping' force Acting Defense chief calls Graham an 'ally' after tense exchange MORE’ senior military advisor has been tapped to be the next chief of the U.S. military in South America, Mattis and the Pentagon announced Thursday.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff urges GOP colleagues to share private concerns about Trump publicly US-China trade talks draw criticism for lack of women in pictures Overnight Defense: Trump to leave 200 troops in Syria | Trump, Kim plan one-on-one meeting | Pentagon asks DHS to justify moving funds for border wall MORE nominated Navy Vice Adm. Craig Faller to be the next commander of U.S. Southern Command (Southcom) and to receive a fourth star, the Pentagon said in a news release.

The statement came shortly after Mattis first made the announcement while addressing members of the Chilean government during a trip there.

In confirmed, Faller would take over command from Adm. Kurt Tidd, who has led the combatant command since 2016.

Faller has been Mattis’ senior military advisor since shortly after the secretary took charge in 2017.

Prior to that, Faller was the Navy’s chief of legislative affairs, a role he started in 2014. His career also includes serving as the commander of a carrier strike group that was deployed to the Middle East supporting operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Southcom covers the U.S. military in Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean.

The command plays a leading role in drug interdiction, as well as in humanitarian roles such as hurricane response. 

More recently, Southcom has also focused on stemming the growth of Chinese and Russian influence in the region.