Twenty-eighth Edition of NAVANTAR Course Held in Argentina
By Nastasia Barceló/Diálogo October 27, 2017The School of Marine Sciences hosted the 28th edition of the Antarctic Navigation Captain Vicente Manuel Federici course. From August 28th to September 8th, Argentina hosted the 28th edition of the consolidated course Antarctic Navigation Captain Vicente Manuel Federici (NAVANTAR, per its Spanish acronym). Various Argentinian agencies — the School of Marine Sciences (ESCM, per its Spanish acronym), the Ministry of Defense, the Naval Hydrographic Service (SHN, per its Spanish acronym), and the National Directorate for the Antarctic of Argentina — organized and taught the course. Ten regional and international navies participated. According to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), NAVANTAR is already considered an essential course for those who navigate polar waters. The incorporation of the Ice Module into the Transas Navi-Trainer Professional 5000 simulator was among the novelties of the course’s 2017 edition. Civilian and military personnel from Argentina’s SHN, a unit of the Ministry of Defense, participated as instructors. Students comprised 52 Argentine and foreign merchant marine officers, including navy officers from Uruguay, Chile, South Africa, Peru, Italy, India, Spain, Bolivia, Brazil, and the United States. One of the core objectives of the NAVANTAR course is to teach students compliance on applicable international laws —to enjoy safer navigation — and train them on environmental pollution regulations. The course revolved around concepts relating to “nautical safety” in polar waters and environmental pollution prevention, issues the Argentine Navy has extensive experience with. The NAVANTAR study plan included sessions on International Relations, Antarctic Legislation, and nautical safety. The content of the course was developed in accordance with IMO recommendations. “The aim of NAVANTAR is to be identified as an IMO model course. That’s why it covers topics relating to applicable requirements for ships navigating in polar waters,” explained Rear Admiral Gustavo Jorge Iglesias, the director general of Education for the Argentine Navy. “We’re increasingly aware of the relevance of sharing the precious knowledge and experience we’ve acquired over more than a century in those icy waters with future crewmembers of ships sailing south,” he added. Among other aspects, the course covered the importance of Antarctica in the history of Argentina and the country’s connection to the sea. Since 1904, Argentina, through its Navy, maintains an uninterrupted presence in Antarctica. Rear Adm. Iglesias added that the Argentine Navy and SHN have contributed to the development of the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters, an international set of regulations of the OMI, since 2014. Argentine Navy Commander Gustavo Daniel Ferraro, the assistant director of ESCM, noted that the course was named after Captain Vicente Manuel Federici in memory of the late naval officer who was the Antarctic nautical advisor of SHN for many years. “Captain Vicente Manuel Federici is nationally and internationally recognized for his extensive experience in Antarctic operations,” he said. The 2017 edition of the course inaugurated the addition of an ice module to the Transas Navi-Trainer Professional 5000 simulator. “This module lets us recreate scenarios in which marine and land ice is present, allowing the participants to visualize, through simulation, what it’s like to navigate in different kinds of ice fields,” Cmdr. Ferraro said. In addition, Cmdr. Ferraro noted that according to amendments adopted in the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers — signed in 2010 in Manila, Philippines — the annual NAVANTAR course might soon become mandatory to work on ships that navigate in polar waters. “An operational training course on the ice module, taught by Associate Professor Christian Hempstead, a Transas Americas instructor, was also part of the instruction,” Cmdr. Ferraro concluded.