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Ecuadorian Navy Service Members Train with Colombian Counterparts

Ecuadorian Navy Service Members Train with Colombian Counterparts

By Myriam Ortega/Diálogo
April 21, 2021

For the first time, 13 members of the Ecuadorian Navy are taking part in the Certified Tactical Planning in Naval Operations course at the Colombian Navy’s Almirante Padilla Naval Cadet School. Through May, the students, along with 12 Colombian counterparts, will receive training in planning and orientation in military operations, with an emphasis on operational leadership.

“For the students it has great importance, since as a country we have extensive experience in carrying out operations against transnational criminal organizations, which have led us to gather a series of experiences on which this certificate is based, not focusing only on purely doctrinal issues, but also reflecting years of experience conducting operations in these riverine and amphibious scenarios,” Colombian Navy Rear Admiral Javier Alfonso Jaimes Pinilla, head of the Almirante Padilla Naval Cadet School, told Diálogo.

 

For the students it has great importance, since as a country we have extensive experience in carrying out operations against transnational criminal organizations, which have led us to gather a series of experiences on which this certificate is based, not focusing only on purely doctrinal issues, but also reflecting years of experience conducting operations in these riverine and amphibious scenarios,” Colombian Navy Rear Admiral Javier Alfonso Jaimes Pinilla, head of the Almirante Padilla Naval Cadet School.

 

The academic program, delivered for the first time in 2020 through distance learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is taught by Colombian Navy military experts and a U.S. instructor, Marine Corps Captain Walker D. Mills, who serves as an exchange officer in the Colombian Navy, more specifically as a professor at the Marine Corps College and a training liaison.

The course, which began in mid-March, consists of six modules that include specific topics on intelligence, meteorology and hydrography, doctrine, decision-making mechanisms in the field, and standards of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) — the latter led by Capt. Mills.

“He [Capt. Mills] facilitates an overview of all NATO guidelines […] and brings a small sample of how U.S. Marines do planning,” Colombian Navy Lieutenant Colonel José Amaya Barrera, dean of the Naval Cadet School’s Marine Corps College, told Diálogo. “It’s a big help to have Cap. Walker [Mills] here.”

“All the knowledge that we have obtained so far serves as a source of knowledge from armed forces that are more experienced in real operations, which is useful and serves to improve our procedures or our doctrine,” Ecuadorian Navy Lieutenant Diego Esteban Morales Palacios, told Diálogo.

The Ecuadorian officer mentioned the common threats that the border countries share — narcotrafficking and transnational criminal groups, such as dissidents of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia — to emphasize the importance of his participation and that of his colleagues in the course. “It helps strengthen relations [between partner countries], which are very important to combat transnational crime, as it requires international action in the form of cooperation,” Lt. Morales concluded.

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