Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet, Rear Adm. Don Gabrielson hosted leadership from partner navies for a roundtable discussion, Feb. 3.
Conducted virtually due to COVID-19, the conference included partner nation senior leaders from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Jamaica, Panama and Peru along with U.S. force providers from U.S. Marine Forces South (MARFORSOUTH), U.S. Special Operations Command South (SOCSOUTH) and U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters.
“We operate together daily with our partners, and these discussions improve multi-lateral understanding and collaboration, said Gabrielson. “Regular discussions enable us to share thoughts, concerns and opportunities to collaborate, and they reinforce our partnerships and shared values as we face mutual challenges. It is clear that our partners value our relationships, and we appreciate their tireless efforts against persistent threats.”
The discussion allowed leaders to discuss various topics affecting the region such as illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU), humanitarian assistance/disaster relief training, increasing subject matter expert exchanges, transnational criminal organizations and cyber security threats.
Throughout the discussion, participants were able to present the unique challenges faced by their countries, while also addressing common regional threats, best ways to collaborate on upcoming exercises and recommend practical solutions moving forward.
The leaders, many of whom have never met in person, were able to establish a forum to define and discuss common interest and goals. It provided an opportunity to speak candidly and lay the groundwork for future meetings and ways to continue building interoperability.
“For the Chilean navy, this multinational regional meeting gave the opportunity to know and understand the points of view and concerns of different aspects of our regional partner nation’s navies,” said Chilean Navy Cmdr. Juan Pablo Enríquez, U.S. 4th Fleet Foreign Liaison Officer. “Also, this meeting was an excellent opportunity for our navies to share their views regarding different topics and threats that affect our regions, creating the occasion to have an open dialogue regarding the best way to work together in order to face those threats that are common for all our partner nations. It was a great success to bring our leaders together today and look to the future.”
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.
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