Remarks by Ambassador Sarah-Ann Lynch
New Horizons Soil-Turning Ceremony
Thursday, June 6, 2019
Good morning. Thank you for your warm welcome and very kind introduction, I am truly elated to be here with all of you on this remarkable occasion for the members of this wonderful community.
I would like to acknowledge the presence of the honored Members of the Government – Minister Bulkhan and Minister Ally; Mayor of Linden Waneka Arrindell; Brigadier Patrick West, Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force; the Region 10 community leaders; the members of the Guyana Defence Force; but especially the members of United States Military participating in this outstanding humanitarian and civic assistance exercise. I would therefore like to express my sincere gratitude to the Commander of the New Horizons Air Expeditionary Task Force, Colonel Kenneth Bratland, for the superb work that he and his troops have already completed; but also for the other terrific and much-needed projects and community outreaches that they will accomplish in the next few months.
As many of you probably already know, the New Horizons exercise is nothing new to Guyana, as this would be the third time this exercise takes place in your country. It speaks volumes about the United States’ commitment to build and sustain enduring relationships with our partner nations. It is a commitment that does not wane, because we know that by sharing our values, challenges and responsibilities, we forge partnerships that improve the regional stability – our partners’ success is indeed our success!
Speaking of partners, I want to particularly acknowledge the Guyanese people, who, along with more than five hundred U.S. Military personnel, are essential to the success of New Horizons. We look forward to continuing to grow our partnership and friendship. Just like its previous iterations in 2004 and 2009, which built clinics and schools and provided medical outreaches, this year’s New Horizons effort provides invaluable knowledge and unmatched hands-on experience. The exercise capitalizes on its bilateral nature, creating a unity of effort for our two countries to address shared challenges, such as in areas like humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
By the time this exercise concludes, many hundreds of Guyanese will directly benefit from its medical outreaches and construction projects, with thousands more indirectly benefiting in the years to follow. Just recently, an ophthalmology clinic in Port Mourant provided 262 Guyanese with the gift of sight, and last week medical doctors performed no less than 38 health surgeries for women at the Linden McKenzie Hospital. Those hundreds of lives already changed. For the United States, this increase in the quality of life of so many Guyanese as well as the increase in our partners’ capacity—your capacity–to confront these challenges, is a great return on our investment.
There is still much more work to be done, of course, but today signifies the official commencement of the construction work on four engineering projects, which will be performed in Linden and its surrounding areas. Through these projects, many more people will be positively impacted, and many more lives will be changed. But, more importantly, these projects, along with the ensuing medical outreaches, will bring our nations closer, will bring our people together, and will continue to contribute to our steadfast commitment to some of our common values such as human rights, democracy, the rule of law, and peace.
In closing, I would like to once again express my appreciation to all those who have taken part in organizing this vital exercise, beginning with our wonderful U.S. Military and the Embassy’s Security Cooperation Office, but also our partners from Guyana’s Ministries of Communities, Public Health, and Education, as well as the Guyana Defence Force and all the regional and municipal leaders involved. Please accept my sincere thanks for all that you do, and may this exercise bring even more possibilities of partnering in the future!