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MIAMI (AP) — Defense Secretary James Mattis says the U.S. military brings stability to most of Latin America through its operations at the Miami-based Southern Command headquarters.

Mattis spoke Monday at a ceremony appointing Navy Adm. Craig Faller as new leader of the command that oversees U.S. military operations in Latin America and the Caribbean. It is also responsible for security of the Panama Canal and the naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Also attending Monday's event was Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

According to his Navy biography, Faller most recently served as senior military assistant to Mattis. He has previously led combat forces in support of U.S. operations in the Persian Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Faller is a native of Fryburg, Pennsylvania.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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