Argentina and the United States strengthened their ties of cooperation.
U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Sean Buck, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet (USNAVSO/FOURTHFLT), attended the annual Maritime Staff Talks (MST) hosted by the Argentine Navy Rear Admiral Rafael Prieto, acting commander of Training and Readiness, in Puerto Belgrano, Argentina, from March 12-14, 2018. MST with the senior Argentine naval officers support the U.S. global maritime strategy by building and strengthening our working relationships and improving U.S. interoperability with partner nations through face-to-face meetings.
This is the first time Argentina has hosted an MST since 2008, and the second MST between the U.S. and Argentine navies since restarting them in 2017. The staff talks are an integral component to each country’s ability to communicate and facilitate operations together. This visit by Rear Adm. Buck served as an opportunity to continue building on the goodwill established during last year’s (2017) MST.
“Our staff talks last year laid the foundation for a reinvigorated partnership with Argentina,” said U.S. Navy Commander Rene Laverde, U.S. 4th Fleet regional engagement desk officer. “Since opening our lines of communication with the Argentine Navy last spring, it allowed us, the U.S. Navy, to respond quickly to their request for support to the search for the Argentine submarine ARA San Juan after it went missing in November 15, 2017.”
Among the actions agreed to during the 2018 MST was Argentine participation in exercises UNITAS 2018 and PANAMAX 2018. UNITAS is the largest annual multilateral exercise conducted between the U.S. and many partner navies in U.S. Southern Command’s (SOUTHCOM) area of operations, while PANAMAX is a multilateral joint exercise intended to improve the ability of participating armed forces to work and operate together in defense of the Panama Canal.
USNAVSO/FOURTHFLT fulfills the maritime role within SOUTHCOM’s joint and combined military operations. USNAVSO/FOURTHFLT employs maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations to maintain access, fortify the ability of U.S. forces to work together with partner nations, and build enduring partnerships with the ultimate goal of enhancing regional security and promoting peace, stability, and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central, and South America.
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