ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. –
Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet, Rear Adm. Jim Aiken, hosted delegates from the Chilean Navy (Armada de Chile) for the 26th annual Maritime Staff Talks (MST), at St. Francis Barracks, Florida National Guard Headquarters, St. Augustine, Florida, March 29-31, 2022.
Maritime Staff Talks with the Chilean Navy began in 1996, when the Chilean Navy invited the U.S. Navy to establish an annual meeting to discuss topics of mutual interest. MSTs support the U.S. maritime strategy, “Advantage at Sea,” by building and strengthening working relationships between U.S. and partner nations.
“Chile is a strong and valued partner,” said Aiken at the opening ceremony. “These engagements provide us an opportunity to share information and build our relationships which allow us to enhance our capabilities when working together.
Aiken led the U.S delegation and Rear Adm. Raul Zamorano, Deputy Chief of Navy General Staff, and Capt. Guillermo Ceballos, Head of International Relations Department, Navy General Staff (EMGA), led the Chilean delegation.
Zamorano said he saw the MST as a chance to further positive relations more effectively between the two countries.
“I am very happy to be here in person with my team representing the Chilean Navy,” said Zamorano. This MST is an excellent platform to share experiences, address matters of mutual concern, and explore opportunities to reinforce our mutual cooperation and interoperability in different aspects. We have a shared friendship, a long professional relationship for many years resulting in numerous cooperative initiatives in exercises such as UNITAS, Teamwork South, Panamax, and RIMPAC. Our Navies share a number of common interests and concerns as well as a firm commitment to freedom of navigation, a rules-based international system as a support to peace and stability of our maritime cause. I look forward to further engage in our long standing relationship through cooperation.”
Topics discussed included upcoming operations and exercises to include PANAMAX, UNITAS, and Teamwork South, which is Chile’s largest maritime exercise. Delegates also discussed opportunities for personnel exchanges and for formal education at both Chilean and U.S. maritime schools.
“We trust you and you trust us, and we have developed a partnership built on friendship. The same kind of relationships that win on a soccer pitch also win on the seas and because of that we are stronger as a U.S. and as a Chilean Navy. Thank you”, said Aiken
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, enhance 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 https://www.facebook.com/NAVSOUS4THFLT and @NAVSOUS4THFLT.