RIO DE JANEIRO (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert concluded a weeklong visit to Brazil Saturday, Jan. 19 where he spoke with naval leadership, toured multiple navy and marine corps bases, and expanded maritime partnership opportunities.
One of the main objectives of the visit was for Greenert to meet with the Commander of the Brazilian Navy Adm. Julio Soares de Moura Neto, who Greenert refers to as a friend and steadfast partner in this economically vibrant country with growing military capabilities.
Greenert's visit symbolically renewed the U.S. Navy's commitment to the two navies' maritime partnership with roots reaching back to WWII.
Greenert officially prolonged the relationship through a personal invitation to Moura Neto and the Brazilian navy to take part in the multinational exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2014.
Greenert and Moura Neto also secured future cooperation opportunities between the two nations through the joint signing of two memorandums of understanding; one of which is to continue the Military Personnel Exchange Program (MPEP), which allows for Brazilian and U.S. officers to swap jobs and learn defense practices from the host country.
The other memorandum signed by both naval service chiefs enacted the Foreign Liaison Officers memorandum of understanding, which appoints a liaison officer to a specific command to represent his or her country regarding matters of government policies, procedures, laws and regulations.
Moura Neto expressed his appreciation for Greenert and the U.S. Navy by bestowing upon him the Brazilian Order of Merit Award for distinguished service and exceptional contributions to the citizens and country of Brazil. Greenert accepted the award on behalf of the U.S. Navy with a sincere declaration of continued naval support. "This visit has really emphasized the importance of my relationship with Adm. Moura Neto and our Navy," Greenert said.
Greenert's trip began in the capital city of Brasilia on Monday where he, his naval counterpart Moura Neto and senior Brazilian naval officers sat down for a round table discussion about numerous maritime topics.
The visit continued for Greenert with a tour of the Aramar Nuclear Facility and various military installations in Rio de Janeiro, including the Itaguai Submarine Base and Submarine Shipyard facility which is under construction. While in Rio, Greenert stated the U.S. Navy will assist Brazil with lessons learned from the development of the U.S. nuclear submarine program to help foster Brazil's subsurface capabilities.
"I find it impressive," said Greenert of the Brazilian submarine program. "I find it innovative and I think that the Brazilian navy, the Brazilian defense establishment and the government is very forward looking." Greenert added, "I'm very impressed with the professionalism, the investment of people and time and of the technology."
In honor of Greenert's visit and as a military capabilities demonstration, the Brazilian navy and marine corps executed a live amphibious assault exercise, performed a simulated pilot rescue mission and paraded by marine forces at the marine amphibious division headquarters near Rio de Janeiro.
Greenert spoke at a joint press conference with Moura Neto to discuss his visit, the impact it had on him after talking with the Brazilian navy's leadership and seeing their sailors and marines in person. "I would put my opinion, or my impression of the Brazilian navy at the very top," Greenert said. "The government and the Brazilian navy have the best vision for what the right security is in the Atlantic and I would view them as the leader in that area."
The full transcrip of the joint press conference is available at: http://www.navy.mil/navydata/people/cno/Greenert/Speech/130116%20ADM%20Greenert%20joint%20press%20conference%20in%20Brazil.pdf