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News | Sept. 2, 2021

U.S. 4th Fleet Partner Nation Roundtable Focuses on the Future


Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet, Rear Adm. Don Gabrielson, hosted leaders from 10 partner nation maritime forces in a virtual roundtable to discuss mutual interests and future opportunities Sept. 2.

The roundtable featured maritime leaders from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Jamaica, Peru, and Uruguay, along with U.S. force representatives from U.S. Marine Forces South (MARFORSOUTH) and U.S. Coast Guard District Eleven.

“Friendships run deep with our maritime partners,” said Gabrielson. “These conversations with our friends enhance our relationships as we discuss our shared challenges and future opportunities.” 

Participants received updates on several topics of mutual interest from previous roundtable discussions, and the ways forward on those topics which include illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU), humanitarian assistance/disaster relief training, cyber security threats and subject matter expert exchanges. Then all participants provided a snapshot of their respective maritime force operations, and a look at the challenges their forces face in the future. While many partner nation maritime forces share similar challenges, many also face unique situations.     

“Frequent roundtables allow us, the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, to keep current on where our partners see themselves as maritime forces now, and where they are headed as they navigate into the future,” said Cmdr. Christina Ortega, U.S. 4th Fleet Theater Security Cooperation Director. “We can then work to develop opportunities for all of us to meet our own objectives through bilateral and multilateral training, operations, and/or exercises.” 

This particular roundtable also provided an opportunity for leaders to virtually meet Rear Adm. James Aiken, the prospective commander of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet. Aiken will relieve Gabrielson on Sept. 3.

“We have made great progress together in the last two years,” said Gabrielson. “Through our shared values and professionalism, in the midst of a global pandemic, we strengthened our partnerships and have continued to fully collaborate together. I know that Admiral Aiken will build on the firm foundation we have set,” he said.      

U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet supports U.S. Southern Command’s joint and combined military operations by employing maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations to maintain access, interoperability, and build enduring partnerships in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American region.

Learn more about USNAVSO/4th Fleet at and @NAVSOUS4THFLT. 

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