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UK appoints new British Defence Attaché to strengthens defence relationship with the Guatemalan army

UK appoints new British Defence Attaché to strengthens defence relationship with the Guatemalan army

Aviator Colonel Simon Stewart, a serving officer of the Royal Air Force, paid a five-day visit to Guatemala.

Colonel Stewart initiated his new role as the UK’s Defence Attaché to Guatemala. He takes on the role with over 20 years of operational experience in the USA, the Middle East, Europe and Africa.

During this initial visit, Colonel Stewart and the British Ambassador, Nick Whittingham, met with the Guatemalan Minister of Defence, Major General Henry Yovani Reyes Chigua. Colonel Stewart reiterated the UK’s eagerness to work alongside Guatemalan counterparts while enhancing cooperation between armed forces.

Colonel Stewart also met with the Commander of the Guatemalan Air Force, Colonel Juan Carlos Ponce and visited the Air Force Defence Unit along with Colonel Roderico Stoardo Guzmán Barrera, head of the Unit. Colonel Stewart discussed new opportunities for cooperation, training and exchange programmes between the UK and Guatemala.

Colonel Stewart also paid a visit to Ms Claudia Herrera, Director of the Coordination Centre for Disaster Prevention in Central America and the Dominican Republic (CEPREDENAC), an organisation that promotes and coordinates international cooperation and the exchange of information, experiences and technical and scientific advice on disaster prevention, mitigation, care and response.

The British Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) mission is to protect the security, independence and interests of the UK at home and abroad, working closely with allies and partners. Colonel Stewart is also the UK’s observer for the Conference of the Central American Armed Forces (CFAC), he will be residing in Mexico and he will visit Guatemala on a regular basis.

During his visit to Guatemala Colonel Stewart said:

Guatemala is a strategically important country for the entire region and I look forward to working closely with the Armed Forces of Guatemala in partnership and friendship. I was very impressed by the military professionalism and innovation I witnessed and I have also taken inspiration from the drive, determination and skill displayed with regard to humanitarian assistance at CEPREDENAC. Guatemala is a stunningly beautiful country with a great culture and I am excited to explore it more.

Published 5 October 2022

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