U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Don Gabrielson, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/4th Fleet (NAVSO), hosted partner nation fleet commanders for a round table leadership discussion and luncheon, December 9.
For the second time this year NAVSO has hosted these commanders to support strengthening partnerships among the U.S. and partner nations by building trust through face-to-face meetings.
“The primary purpose of being able to bring people together and collaborate to solve problems is indicative of the partnerships we share. Every navy has similar goals, common regional interests and threats that bring us together as a team, said Rear Adm. Gabrielson. “Our navies need to remember why we exist to maximize how we work together.”
Senior leadership from Argentina; Brazil; Canada; Colombia; Ecuador; Peru; U.S. Marine Corps Forces, South; and Joint Interagency Task Force South all participated in the leadership discussion. Throughout the day, leaders discussed topics influencing the region such as various regional threats, exercises, interoperability, and maritime domain awareness.
“The roundtable was very successful,” said U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Windsor Frinell, Strategy and Policy officer and Regional Engagement desk officer. “The main objective was an open discussion on interoperability challenges, and how we can approach common threats throughout the region. Secondly, it was a unique opportunity for partner fleet-level commanders to meet their peers and have an open dialogue. Establishing common ground and developing trust is vital to maintaining and strengthening partnerships.”
Participants were able to provide insight into their countries’ maritime issues while also highlighting best practices and new ways to further collaborate in future exercises.
The capstone of the day was a tour of the USS Billings (LCS-15). While onboard, the leaders were able to see firsthand the capabilities of the LCS and talk to sailors.
NAVSO employs maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations to maintain access, fortify the ability of U.S. forces to work together with partner nations, and build enduring partnerships with the ultimate goal of enhancing regional security and promoting peace, stability, and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions.