Belize (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus completed a partnership-building visit to Belize Jan. 27.
During the stop, Mabus met with senior Belizean military defense officials to discuss the relationship between the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps and the Belizean Defense Force and Coast Guard.
"We place great importance on the partnership between our two countries and we will seek to deepen and expand the relationship between our militaries," said Mabus.
Belize has participated in several joint and multilateral exercises with the U.S. to include UNITAS, New Horizon, Southern Partnership Station and PANAMAX. Mabus encouraged the country to continue this participation in the future.
Mabus also spent time observing a joint U.S. and Belize training course and meeting with Marines from the Marine Security Cooperation Team currently deployed to the country.
"The relationship among our maritime services is exemplary," said Mabus. "I know that both the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps speak highly of the experience they gain working with the Belizean Defense Force and Coast Guard."
U.S. Marines are currently in Belize conducting jungle and riverine training.
Mabus thanked Belizean officials for their support of the training and their cooperation in combatting transnational organized crime.
Mabus' stop in Belize is part of a multi-nation visit to the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility focused on reinforcing existing partnerships and visiting Sailors and Marines forward deployed.
For more news from the Secretary of the Navy, visit www.navy.mil/local/secnav or www.facebook.com/SecretaryoftheNavy.