WASHINGTON (NNS) - Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Mike Gilday participated in the 29th Inter-American Naval Conference (IANC) virtually Nov. 24, along with other heads of navy from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay.
“The conference is an opportunity for us to reflect on this challenging year and to recognize the innovation our navies have used to adapt together, learn together, and overcome this pandemic together,” said Gilday. “I’m grateful for our combined commitment to sharing best practices that have kept our Sailors safe and ships at sea during this pandemic.”
IANC, hosted this year by Chilean Navy Adm. Julio Leiva Molina, serves as a forum for partner nations to discuss maritime security challenges in an effort to promote hemispheric solidarity. The theme for this year’s two-day conference is, “The role of navies in a pandemic.”
“Mutual respect for international law binds us together,” he said. “Even in a pandemic, the primary role of our Navy holds fast – to keep the seas free and open and maintain maritime security.”
The U.S. Navy regularly conducts exercises and operations in the U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command area of responsibility alongside South American naval partners. Recently, 13 warships from eight countries participated in UNITAS LXI, hosted by Ecuadorian Navy Rear Adm. Amilcar Villavicencio Palacios and the world’s longest running multinational maritime exercise, which concluded Nov. 11.
Gilday expressed thanks to Leiva for hosting this year’s IANC; to Peruvian Navy Adm. Ricardo Memendez Calle for hosting the next exercise UNITAS, which will coincide with the 200 anniversary of the Peruvian Navy, and to Brazilian Navy Adm. Ilques Barbosa Junior for a decade of leadership of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon.
Along with partner nations from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Dominican Republic, Peru, and Uruguay, the exercise included: surface tactical maneuvers, a sinking exercise (SINKEX), a live-fire exercise, a replenishment-at-sea, search and rescue exercises, anti-submarine warfare exercises, air defense exercises, amphibious landing, reconnaissance, assault, security, and humanitarian assistance/disaster relief response training.
The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) is the senior military officer of the Department of the Navy. The CNO is a four-star admiral and is responsible to the Secretary of the Navy for the command, utilization of resources, and operating efficiency of the operating forces of the Navy and of the Navy shore activities assigned by the Secretary.
A member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the CNO is the principal naval adviser to the President and to the Secretary of the Navy on the conduct of war, and is the principal adviser and naval executive to the Secretary on the conduct of activities of the Department of the Navy. Assistants are the Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO), the Deputy Chiefs of Naval Operations (DCNOs), the Assistant Chiefs of Naval Operations (ACNOs) and a number of other ranking officers. These officers and their staffs are collectively known as the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OpNav).
For more information about the U.S. Navy Chief of Naval Operations, please contact the Public Affairs Office or visit: www.navy.mil/cno.
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