Chilean Chief of Naval Operations Visits San Diego

Story Number: NNS190530-02Release Date: 5/30/2019 9:11:00 AM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Natalie Byers, Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Vice Adm. Marcelo Gomez Garcia, commander, Chilean Navy Operations, visited San Diego May 23 to gain additional familiarization with U.S. Navy operations on the West Coast.

While in San Diego, he met with Vice Adm. John D. Alexander, commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet to discuss the importance of a continued, strong naval partnership between the U.S. and Chile, as well as future exercises and operations involving the two countries working together.

“I very much appreciate Vice Adm. Gomez taking the time to visit San Diego and observe some of the great things our Navy does here,” said Alexander. “Being able to meet in person is invaluable when it comes to strengthening partnerships. We have a longstanding partnership with Chile and have routinely worked with their navy. The Chilean Navy played a critical role during Exercise Rim of the Pacific 2018 when they served as the combined maritime forces component commander and we have operated and exercised with them in the Pacific for a good number of years. Our meeting was a great opportunity to discuss ways to continue building on our successes together.”

Gomez also observed the Undersea Rescue Center conduct routine training with the Submarine Rescue Chamber (SRC) from aboard the Military Sealift Command-chartered MV HOS Dominator, a submarine support ship. The SRC is a McCann rescue chamber designed during World War II and still used today.

"We were very honored to have this opportunity to host Vice Adm. Gomez,” said Cmdr. John Babick, Submarine Squadron 11 deputy for Undersea Rescue. “Submarine rescue is a critical mission area, and our continuing partnership with the Chilean navy is an outstanding demonstration of how international partners working together can ensure that the undersea rescue community is always ready to respond to a disabled submarine and rescue the survivors."

URC and the Chilean Submarine Force have a strong relationship in submarine rescue through the Diesel Electric Submarine Initiative (DESI). Chile is the newest DESI participant and has conducted seven stateside deployments since 2007.

During each deployment, URC and the deployed Chilean submarine conduct CHILEMAR, a bilateral exercise designed to demonstrate interoperability between the United States submarine rescue systems and Chilean submarines, which includes a search and rescue phase. August of 2018 marked the eighth exercise of its kind and is conducted off the coast of San Diego biennially, with the exception of CHILEMAR VII which took place in 2017 off the coast of Talcahuano, Chile.

U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Indo-Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy. U.S. 3rd Fleet works constantly with U.S. 7th Fleet to complement one another and provide commanders capable, ready assets across the spectrum of military operations in the Pacific.


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