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Dominican Republic Navy Midshipmen Receive Training on ‘Maestro del Mar 2014’

Dominican Republic Navy Midshipmen Receive Training on ‘Maestro del Mar 2014’

By Dialogo
December 15, 2014






A group of midshipmen from the Navy of the Dominican Republic (ARD) recently boarded a ship for a cruise in the beautiful waters of the Caribbean – but this was no vacation. This was Maestro del Mar 2014, a series of drills held from November 17-28.

The training exercises, held to familiarize participants with the daily tasks and activities of the Coast Guard service and interceptor ships, proceeded in two phases: the first at sea, the second on land. They included coastal and electronic navigation, ship formation maneuvers, drills in unit command and control, and the study of naval sciences. The midshipmen also conducted exercises in at-sea law enforcement, search and rescue operations, and maritime interdiction, including boarding suspect ships.

The training ship departed from San Soucí Naval Station. There, Vice Admiral Edmundo Félix Pimentel, chief of naval operations, and a delegation of admirals and senior and junior officers, met participants after the exercises.

Emphasis on technology


The training mission allowed the participating midshipmen to conduct drills using the latest in naval technology. The ARD has invested heavily in naval technology in recent years.

“The Navy of the Dominican Republic no longer conducts training like Maestro del Mar 2014 as a primary operation but rather the training focuses on creating a more technological view of the military’s functions,” according to Daniel Pou, associate researcher at the Latin American School of Social Sciences (FLACSO) in the Dominican Republic. “This process of continual training is an essential element for them.”

ARD fights drug trafficking


The 5,000 sailors and marines in the ARD rely on training and technology to battle drug trafficking by transnational criminal organizations. Preparing to use the latest in naval equipment has helped the ARD register important victories against narco-traffickers.

For example, November 24, the ARD in cooperation with the National Drug Enforcement Directorate (DNCD) arrested three Venezuelan citizens and seized their cargo of 775 packets of cocaine or heroin on the island of Saona, in the country’s southeast.

Working under the legal guidance of the Prosecutor’s Office, the ARD detected and intercepted an Eduardoño class boat as it entered Dominican waters. A Dominican Air Force helicopter transported a DNCD tactical team to Saono to participate in the investigation and arrests; its agents took custody of the drugs. The suspects will eventually be brought to trial by the Prosecutor’s Office for the Province of La Altagracia (Este).

“The Navy runs a joint patrol with the National Drug Enforcement Directorate,” Pou said. “The Dominican Republic’s military aviation units maintain a constant patrol over the country’s coast. The coordinated actions and surveillance efforts are conducted jointly by the Dominican Navy and Air Force, and this cooperation leads to very significant seizures.” Because of its geographic location, the Dominican Republic is an important transshipment point for drug trafficking organizations. The island has many ports, which are used by vessels which transport goods to the United States and Europe. Drug traffickers often hide narcotics inside containers of fruit and other products that the country exports, such as clothing.

“The peaceful waters of the Caribbean have been turned into a very active route for drug traffickers,” said Pou.





A group of midshipmen from the Navy of the Dominican Republic (ARD) recently boarded a ship for a cruise in the beautiful waters of the Caribbean – but this was no vacation. This was Maestro del Mar 2014, a series of drills held from November 17-28.

The training exercises, held to familiarize participants with the daily tasks and activities of the Coast Guard service and interceptor ships, proceeded in two phases: the first at sea, the second on land. They included coastal and electronic navigation, ship formation maneuvers, drills in unit command and control, and the study of naval sciences. The midshipmen also conducted exercises in at-sea law enforcement, search and rescue operations, and maritime interdiction, including boarding suspect ships.

The training ship departed from San Soucí Naval Station. There, Vice Admiral Edmundo Félix Pimentel, chief of naval operations, and a delegation of admirals and senior and junior officers, met participants after the exercises.

Emphasis on technology


The training mission allowed the participating midshipmen to conduct drills using the latest in naval technology. The ARD has invested heavily in naval technology in recent years.

“The Navy of the Dominican Republic no longer conducts training like Maestro del Mar 2014 as a primary operation but rather the training focuses on creating a more technological view of the military’s functions,” according to Daniel Pou, associate researcher at the Latin American School of Social Sciences (FLACSO) in the Dominican Republic. “This process of continual training is an essential element for them.”

ARD fights drug trafficking


The 5,000 sailors and marines in the ARD rely on training and technology to battle drug trafficking by transnational criminal organizations. Preparing to use the latest in naval equipment has helped the ARD register important victories against narco-traffickers.

For example, November 24, the ARD in cooperation with the National Drug Enforcement Directorate (DNCD) arrested three Venezuelan citizens and seized their cargo of 775 packets of cocaine or heroin on the island of Saona, in the country’s southeast.

Working under the legal guidance of the Prosecutor’s Office, the ARD detected and intercepted an Eduardoño class boat as it entered Dominican waters. A Dominican Air Force helicopter transported a DNCD tactical team to Saono to participate in the investigation and arrests; its agents took custody of the drugs. The suspects will eventually be brought to trial by the Prosecutor’s Office for the Province of La Altagracia (Este).

“The Navy runs a joint patrol with the National Drug Enforcement Directorate,” Pou said. “The Dominican Republic’s military aviation units maintain a constant patrol over the country’s coast. The coordinated actions and surveillance efforts are conducted jointly by the Dominican Navy and Air Force, and this cooperation leads to very significant seizures.” Because of its geographic location, the Dominican Republic is an important transshipment point for drug trafficking organizations. The island has many ports, which are used by vessels which transport goods to the United States and Europe. Drug traffickers often hide narcotics inside containers of fruit and other products that the country exports, such as clothing.

“The peaceful waters of the Caribbean have been turned into a very active route for drug traffickers,” said Pou.
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