Dominican Republic Navy Completes Summer Cruise 2015 Training Mission
By Dialogo July 31, 2015
Three Dominican Republic Navy (ARD) vessels recently completed Midshipmen Summer 2015, an annual two-week training course where Midshipmen perform on a ship what they were taught in classrooms. They carried out search and rescue missions, plotted navigation courses on charts, performed electronic and celestial navigation and administered first aid, among other exercises, before returning to the Naval Post station of Sans Souci on June 30.
One vessel, the patrol boat Almirante Didiez Burgos (PA-301), ARD., paid an official visit to the port of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, and sailed around the Netherlands Antilles. Meanwhile, the other two -- Coast Guard boats Orion GC-109, ARD., and Altair, GC-112, ARD. -- conducted exercises and patrols in Dominican territorial waters.
After completing the other phases of their training, the crew of the Almirante Didiez Burgos laid a wreath at the bust of Brigadier General Juan Pablo Duarte Diez, (1813-1876), one of the founding fathers of the Dominican Republic, during a ceremony at the Almirante Padilla Naval Cadet School of the city of Cartagena de Indias. That presentation was made by Dominican Republic Navy Commander V. Bisonó and Captain Juan Camilo Forero Hauzeur, the Deputy Director of the Naval School of Cadets, who said the event was an opportunity "to strengthen ties between members of the two Armed Forces and strengthen the ties that bind the sea, such as Naval tradition."
The Dominican Navy evolves to confront new threats
Midshipmen Summer 2015 helps ARD service members prepare to meet the challenges imposed by organized crime groups trying to take advantage of the country's location in the Caribbean. Such organizations often use maritime routes in the Caribbean to traffic narcotics, weapons and people.
The Dominican Navy's traditional role has been focused on "civil-Military operations, defense and coastal security, environmental care and protection, disaster mitigation, both natural and man-made, and maritime security, among other [responsibilities]," said an ARD spokesman, who asked not to be identified by name.
But today, he added, Dominican Navy personnel trains "in the fight against drug trafficking, illegal fishing, smuggling (contraband in general), organized crime, common crime, terrorism and other challenges that may arise." The training has proven useful in efforts such as that launched on January 18, when the Dominican Navy deployed three cutters and two interceptor go-fast boats as part of Amphibious Shield, a security operation in the country's northern and southern regions to combat organized crime groups who exploit natural resources and traffic narcotics, weapons, humans and contraband, such as untaxed cigarettes.
Partners throughout Latin America are helping the ARD train to counter such threats. For example, during its visit to Cartegena, the Almirante Didiez Burgos visited the country's Almirante Padilla Naval Cadet School; there, four Dominican Caders are studying to become Naval Officers through a cooperative agreement between the countries' navies. ARD service members participate in joint training operations through such arrangements in Latin America throughout the year.
"In 2013 in Colombia some of our cadets participated in the Unitas exercises and in 2014 some participated in the Basic Course Regional Training Command for Peacekeeping Operations (CREOMPAZ) in Guatemala," said an ARD spokesman, who asked not to be identified by name. "They have also participated in International Sails Cruises aboard the training ships of Venezuela, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, etc."