MAYPORT, Fla. (NNS) -- Representatives from the U.S. and Ecuadorian navies met for the U.S. Navy and Armada de la Republica del Ecuador (Ecuador Navy) Operational Naval Committee (ONC) conference Aug. 12-13.
U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command (NAVSO), U.S. 4th Fleet hosted the conference on board Naval Station Mayport, to plan upcoming interactions and to discuss potential areas for greater cooperation between the U.S. and Ecuadorian navies.
NAVSO, 4th Fleet commander, Rear Adm. Victor G. Guillory, spoke to conference participants during the opening remarks.
"It is my pleasure to open this conference, one of which I hope will improve our navies interoperability, enhance our mutual security, and in many ways, most importantly establish friendships," said Guillory. "We continue to have the common bond of mutual respect that, as brothers of the sea, is deep and enduring. Mutual security interests such as commerce protection, counter-drug trafficking, and counter-terrorism require that we work together for the safety of our countries."
The conference resulted in the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between both countries, outlining the agreements discussed by the committee.
Ecuadorian Navy Capitan de Navo Ramn Orellana and Capt. Wayne Harrison, NAVSO/4th Fleet assistant chief of staff, exercises and theater security cooperation department, signed the MOU as the senior representatives from each country.
NAVSO, 4th Fleet frequently hosts foreign military members in a continuing effort to strengthen U.S. Navy ties throughout Latin America and the Caribbean to support theater security cooperation (TSC) initiatives and the U.S. global maritime strategy.
As the Navy component command of U.S. Southern Command, NAVSO's mission is to direct U.S. Naval forces operating in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions and interact with partner nation navies within the maritime environment. Routine operations include counter-illicit trafficking, theater security cooperation, military-to-military interaction and bilateral and multinational training.
U.S. 4th Fleet is the numbered fleet assigned to NAVSO, exercising operational control of assigned forces and conducting the full spectrum of maritime security operations (MSO) and TSC activities in support of U.S. objectives that promote coalition building and deter aggression.
For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/cusns/.