Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today traveled to Brisbane, Australia where she led the Presidential delegation, which included U.S. Ambassador to Australia Jeff L. Bleich and Commander of the United States 7th Fleet Vice Admiral Scott H. Swift, at the 70th Anniversary Commemoration of the Battle of the Coral Sea.
"Australians and Americans have fought together--and given lives together--in every single major conflict over the past hundred years," said Secretary Napolitano. "Today reminds us of the sacrifices made by our fellow countrymen--Americans and Australians alike--and their courage, bravery, and determination to achieve victory, whatever the costs." Secretary Napolitano also read a commemorative message from President Obama, which noted that seven decades after the Battle, the U.S. and Australia "remain united in our purpose to preserve freedom, maintain stability, and promote lasting peace."
The Battle of the Coral Sea was a series of naval engagements off the northeast coast of Australia between May 4-8, 1942, that prevented the invasion of Port Moresby by Japanese forces and helped turn the tide of World War II in favor of the Allies.
From May 2-5, Secretary Napolitano traveled to Wellington, New Zealand, and Canberra and Brisbane, Australia, where she met bilaterally with international counterparts to discuss a variety of security-related issues including enhancing information sharing, combating transnational crime and human trafficking, countering violent extremism and working to ensure a more safe, secure, and resilient global supply chain and signed and signed several security agreements.
In New Zealand, Secretary Napolitano signed a Joint Statement on Combating Trafficking in Persons in the Pacific Islands Region; and a Joint Statement to Strengthen Border Security, Combat Transitional Organized Crime, and Facilitate Legitimate Trade and Travel. In Australia, Secretary Napolitano signed a Joint Statement on Countering Transnational Crime, Terrorism and Violent Extremism, a Statement of Intent on Frequent Traveler Facilitation; a Joint Statement on the Development of a Framework for Cooperative International Targeting and Assessment; and a Joint Statement on Global Supply Chain Security.
For more information, visit www.dhs.gov.