Chile and Argentina safeguard Antarctic territory

Chile and Argentina safeguard Antarctic territory

By Dialogo
December 10, 2014






Chile’s naval ATF-66 Galvarino
tugboat and AP-46 Viel
icebreaker together with Argentina’s ARA Suboficial Castillo
tugboat will guard the Antarctic territory during the 17th Joint Antarctic Naval Patrol (PANC).

“[PANC] is a joint, systematic effort in our common area of responsibility in the Antarctic, as established by the 1979 International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue,” said Rear Admiral Felipe García-Huidobro, commander-in-chief of the Chilean Navy’s III Naval Zone.

On November 15, the Chilean ships launched towards the Antarctic from Punta Arenas, at the southern tip of Chile, while the Suboficial Castillo
departed from the Argentine Navy’s Southern Naval Area in Ushuaia the same day.

The mission for this bilateral operation is to protect the security of the Antarctic through maritime rescue and recovery efforts in addition to controlling and combatting water contamination in the event of an accident, as happened with the Chinese fishing vessel Kai-Xin
in April 2013.

“While passing through the Bransfield Strait in the Antarctic, a fire broke out onboard the vessel, and three days later, it sank,” said García-Huidobro.

At that time, quick action by the tugboat Lautaro
prevented the waters from being contaminated.

“[The Lautaro
] dragged the area in the search of remains and mechanical dispersion of traces of oil,” he said.

The PANC was created in 1998, when Chile and Argentina signed an agreement to conduct the operation during the summer, due to the increase in the maritime traffic to and from the icy continent at that time by both domestic and foreign parties. The traffic of scientific delegations, tourist cruises, and fishing vessels and logistics ships have increased in the Antarctic region, increasing the likelihood of emergencies.

Joint monitoring periods


The PANC takes place during 120 days and covers over 15,000 nautical miles in which 250 deployed sailors use 34 bases and shelters in the Antarctic.

The patrol is divided into four stages that are conducted jointly by the two countries. Called Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, and Delta, they each last 30 days, until March 15, 2015.

During each stage, the ships from Chile and Argentina alternate the monitoring and rescue tasks. The country responsible for directing the particular stage is referred to as the “Antarctic Service Ship,” while the other country acts as the “Antarctic Support Ship,” assisting as needed, or waiting its turn to lead the monitoring period.

The first patrol stage – Alpha – began its monitoring efforts with the Chilean tugboat Galvarino
. Its task is to provide logistic support to Chilean bases in the Antarctic, transport material and personnel, and perform maintenance on a significant number of signals throughout the area.

Additionally during the Alpha stage, Lieutenant Guillermo Zerdán, second-in-command for the Argentine ARA Alférez Sobral
warship, is serving with the Chilean delegation as an “Antarctic Observer”. The goal is to learn more about navigation and to build bonds of brotherhood.

The first relief period begins on December 15, when the Argentine ARA Suboficial Castillo
tugboat takes over the monitoring tasks.

At each change of lead country, joint simulation training exercises are conducted by both countries, such as procedures for liaison, search and rescue, tele-medical assistance, evacuation of wounded persons, combatting contamination, and towing.

“It allows us to increase our capability to conduct joint operations and to establish protocols for joint actions,” said Rear Admiral García-Huidobro.





Chile’s naval ATF-66 Galvarino
tugboat and AP-46 Viel
icebreaker together with Argentina’s ARA Suboficial Castillo
tugboat will guard the Antarctic territory during the 17th Joint Antarctic Naval Patrol (PANC).

“[PANC] is a joint, systematic effort in our common area of responsibility in the Antarctic, as established by the 1979 International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue,” said Rear Admiral Felipe García-Huidobro, commander-in-chief of the Chilean Navy’s III Naval Zone.

On November 15, the Chilean ships launched towards the Antarctic from Punta Arenas, at the southern tip of Chile, while the Suboficial Castillo
departed from the Argentine Navy’s Southern Naval Area in Ushuaia the same day.

The mission for this bilateral operation is to protect the security of the Antarctic through maritime rescue and recovery efforts in addition to controlling and combatting water contamination in the event of an accident, as happened with the Chinese fishing vessel Kai-Xin
in April 2013.

“While passing through the Bransfield Strait in the Antarctic, a fire broke out onboard the vessel, and three days later, it sank,” said García-Huidobro.

At that time, quick action by the tugboat Lautaro
prevented the waters from being contaminated.

“[The Lautaro
] dragged the area in the search of remains and mechanical dispersion of traces of oil,” he said.

The PANC was created in 1998, when Chile and Argentina signed an agreement to conduct the operation during the summer, due to the increase in the maritime traffic to and from the icy continent at that time by both domestic and foreign parties. The traffic of scientific delegations, tourist cruises, and fishing vessels and logistics ships have increased in the Antarctic region, increasing the likelihood of emergencies.

Joint monitoring periods


The PANC takes place during 120 days and covers over 15,000 nautical miles in which 250 deployed sailors use 34 bases and shelters in the Antarctic.

The patrol is divided into four stages that are conducted jointly by the two countries. Called Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, and Delta, they each last 30 days, until March 15, 2015.

During each stage, the ships from Chile and Argentina alternate the monitoring and rescue tasks. The country responsible for directing the particular stage is referred to as the “Antarctic Service Ship,” while the other country acts as the “Antarctic Support Ship,” assisting as needed, or waiting its turn to lead the monitoring period.

The first patrol stage – Alpha – began its monitoring efforts with the Chilean tugboat Galvarino
. Its task is to provide logistic support to Chilean bases in the Antarctic, transport material and personnel, and perform maintenance on a significant number of signals throughout the area.

Additionally during the Alpha stage, Lieutenant Guillermo Zerdán, second-in-command for the Argentine ARA Alférez Sobral
warship, is serving with the Chilean delegation as an “Antarctic Observer”. The goal is to learn more about navigation and to build bonds of brotherhood.

The first relief period begins on December 15, when the Argentine ARA Suboficial Castillo
tugboat takes over the monitoring tasks.

At each change of lead country, joint simulation training exercises are conducted by both countries, such as procedures for liaison, search and rescue, tele-medical assistance, evacuation of wounded persons, combatting contamination, and towing.

“It allows us to increase our capability to conduct joint operations and to establish protocols for joint actions,” said Rear Admiral García-Huidobro.
THIS IS HOW CHILE AND ARGENTINA SHOULD BE UNITED TO DEFEND THEIR INTERESTS AND GIVE EACH OTHER SUPPORT IF FACED WITH ANY TYPE OF AGGRESSION AND HUMANITARIAN ISSUES, KEEP IT UP, YOU'RE A MODEL FOR THE WORLD.
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