Rear Admiral Don Gabrielson, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. Fourth Fleet, hosted leaders from the Peruvian Navy for the annual U.S.-Peru Maritime Staff Talks (MST) on September 23.
MSTs support U.S. global strategy by building and strengthening working relationships between the U.S. and partner nations and improving interoperability through face-to-face meetings. Due to COVID-19, this year’s MST occurred virtually via the All Partner Access Network (APAN) and the Combined Enterprise Regional Information Exchange System (CENTRIXS).
Representatives from the Peruvian Navy, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and the U.S. Coast Guard participated in the event.
Rear Adm. Gabrielson led the U.S. delegation along with Brigadier General Phillip Frietze, commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces South, and Rear Admiral Brian Penoyer, commander of the Eleventh U.S. Coast Guard District. Rear Admiral Rodolfo Sablich, deputy of the Peruvian Navy General Staff; Rear Admiral Jose Antonio Regalado, commander of the Marine Corps; Rear Admiral Jorge Martín Zegarra, naval attaché in Washington D.C.; and Rear Admiral Werner Meier Von Schierenbeck, commander of Coast Guard Operations, led the Peruvian delegation.
MST topics included discussion of the multinational maritime exercise UNITAS LXII (62), which will occur in September 2021. Peru will host UNITAS LXII to celebrate the bicentennial of the Peruvian Navy. The two delegations also made initial preparations for the Silent Forces Exercise (SIFOREX), a biennial, bilateral anti-submarine warfare (ASW) exercise hosted by the Peruvian Navy. As with every MST this year, the U.S. and Peruvian delegation shared health crisis management lessons learned from each country’s respective experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The United States and Peru have enjoyed a close relationship at sea since 1920, when the U.S. naval mission to Peru began. Our current range of topics and the ease of discussion underscore a mature, special friendship, with subjects covering the spectrum of naval operations. We especially appreciate learning from the Peruvian Navy’s experience during the pandemic. It’s inspiring hearing their personal and professional stories of leadership and service. We have much to look forward to in 2021, especially helping Peru celebrate their Navy’s 200th anniversary.” said Rear Adm. Gabrielson.