Chilean Naval War College Visits U.S. Southern Command

Chilean Naval War College Visits U.S. Southern Command

By Dialogo
August 18, 2011

Students, professors, and administrative personnel from the Chilean Naval War College (Academia de Guerra Naval) visited the U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) on 16 August, as part of a 12-day tour of U.S. military and government installations.

During their visit to Southern Command headquarters, in Miami, Florida, the more than 40 Chilean military personnel participated in a roundtable discussion moderated by Ambassador Paul Trivelli, USSOUTHCOM civilian deputy commander, who answered questions about the Command’s mission and its relationships with friendly countries in the region.

Capt. Guillermo Díaz Avello, director of the Naval War College, located in Valparaíso, Chile, explained that the objective of this visit is to familiarize students with the work done by the Southern Command. “We could say that USSOUTHCOM is involved in an ongoing fight to solve a conflict that affects millions of people. Participation by only one country is not sufficient, and cooperation among all is an essential element,” he commented.

The group, which is about to complete the General Staff Course, left Viña del Mar on 7 August and has toured facilities such as Naval Station Norfolk in Norfolk, Virginia, and the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, as well as the Capitol, the Pentagon, and Arlington National Cemetery, among others. “For our students, it’s very important to get to know all aspects of the U.S. military and the close academic, professional, and operational relationship that exists between us. The students have learned the U.S. vision of its relationship with Chile,” Díaz Avello indicated.

The meeting was also attended by Capt. David Cinalli, representing the U.S. Coast Guard, and Capt. Felipe Bravo, who as a Chilean liaison officer at USSOUTHCOM offered his own perspective on the role played by the Command and its ties of collaboration with friendly nations in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean.

“This visit complements what we’ve learned up to now in the General Staff Course,” affirmed Lt. Cmdr. Hugo Moya, a student at the Chilean Naval War College. “For me, it was impressive to see how the Southern Command has an area of responsibility that encompasses more than you can imagine and that takes into account the principle of democracy. This doesn’t always come through clearly in our countries, since it’s not the same from a distance,” he added.

In the last item on its itinerary before departing for Chile, the group will stop in Key West to visit the headquarters of the Joint Interagency Task Force South (JIATF-S). Under USSOUTHCOM’s direction, JIATF-S works with liaison officers from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Mexico, the Netherlands, Peru, Spain, and the United Kingdom to combat illicit trafficking.