Peruvian Navy Ship Completes Second Training Cruise

The Peruvian training ship concluded its second international mission of instruction.
Gonzalo Silva Infante/Diálogo | 20 November 2017

The Peruvian Navy BAP Union training ship returned from its second Training Trip Abroad on September 5th, 2017, after a six month voyage. (Photo: Gonzalo Silva Infante, Diálogo)

The expedition took the Peruvian Navy training ship through Pacific, Atlantic, and Caribbean waters. On November 5th, 2017, the BAP Union concluded its second Training Trip Abroad (VIEX, per its Spanish acronym) and returned to its home port at the Callao Naval Base after traveling 18,000 miles in six months.

“You have returned healthy, better people, and sailors,” Peruvian Minister of Defense Jorge Nieto Montesinos said to cadets who participated in the trip. Accompanied by Admiral Gonzalo Nicolás Ríos Polastri, general commander of the Peruvian Navy (MGP, per its Spanish acronym), Nieto welcomed the 347 crew members, including 83 third-year cadets from the Naval School of Peru.

Training on the high seas

“I have the privilege, along with this promotion, to be one of the few to have this training,” Cadet Richard Valdez Ticona said upon arrival. For his part, Cadet Fernando Luque Pereyra highlighted the leadership of the BAP Union officers. “It’s been hard work, but this is a team,” Cadet Pereyra said. “There was trust from the officers [...]. In my case, I feel that we've had some first class officers, excellent professionals whom I hope to meet in the future and work with.”

The Union's second training trip was the first to make a stop in Europe. The ship set off from Callao on May 11th and visited 18 ports in 12 countries: Balboa and Colón, Panamá; Jacksonville, Norfolk, and Boston, United States; Charlottetown, Canada; London, England; Hamburg, Germany; Rotterdam, Holland; Le Havre, France; La Coruña, Cádiz, and Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Guayaquil, Ecuador; and Paita, Peru.

While at sea, cadets received a theoretical and practical training to strengthen their maritime skills in real-life conditions. Students learned to work as a team and participated in lessons on celestial navigation, meteorology, oceanography, and sail maneuvers.

“We started with a training phase: they took the sailing training ship course for 20 days until we arrived at the port of Jacksonville [United States],” MGP Captain Franz Bittrich Ramírez, ship commander, told Diálogo. “Then we started training in teams at each mast.”

A multifaceted mission

In addition to being a training cruise, the BAP Union fulfills a diplomatic mission and promotes cooperation and friendship among the armed forces of partner nations. As such, in addition to Peruvian officers, cadets, technical personnel and seamen, the ship's crew included officers from Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, and Canada.

The ship served as a roaming embassy and shared Peruvian culture with the thousands of people who came on board. Military and civilian officials from each country welcomed crew members, who participated in various events and cultural visits, such as to navy museums. They also paid the traditional homage to MGP Admiral Miguel Grau in foreign ports where a bust of the Peruvian naval hero is found.

“[Being in] these 12 countries gave me a cultural education, [allowed me to] become a man of the world,” Cadet Valdez said. “You learn nautical, maritime training, and apart from that, it’s a source of pride to have a Peruvian waiting for you in each port.”

Built to stand out

In its voyage around the world, the ship also took part in various maritime events, which served as training for cadets. At the mid-June Sail Boston 2017 naval parade in the United States, the BAP Union won the Tall Ships category. In Canada, the ship won first place of Race 4 at the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta that celebrated Canada’s 150-year anniversary. In addition to theoretical lessons, “the training served to win the competition,” said Capt. Bittrich.

Launched in December 2014, the four-masted ship BAP Union is more than 115 meters long, 13.5 meters wide, and has 34 sails. The BAP Union also has a displacement of 3,200 tons and reaches a speed of 12 knots. The sailing ship, built in the Navy Industrial Services Shipyard with the support of Spain, is the second largest training ship in the world.

A way of life

A touching moment at the return of the BAP Union occurred when four of its crew members met their children born during the mission. “It’s very gratifying to see my son after a long voyage,” said Technical Helmsman Yosep Cántaro García. “I found out he was born July 19th when we were sailing through London, and I was quite emotional.” Second Lieutenant Diego Zárate García was thankful. “I couldn't be with my daughter for six months, but now I'm very happy.” For Capt. Bittrich, joining MGP can be summarized in one simple sentence: “The Navy is not a job but a way of life, and one needs to make sacrifices for life.”

The planning process for the third BAP Union mission is already underway. It will include four months of planning and navigation tests in March 2018. The captain indicated his satisfaction with the second completed mission. “I feel confident that the Navy's future is assured with these cadets,” he concluded. “We are delivering a cohesive group to the Naval School, with firm values and convictions.”

Peruvian Minister of Defense Jorge Nieto Montesinos welcomed the BAP Union crew, which returned after traveling 18,000 miles around the world. (Photo: Gonzalo Silva Infante, Diálogo)

The expedition took the Peruvian Navy training ship through Pacific, Atlantic, and Caribbean waters. On November 5th, 2017, the BAP Union concluded its second Training Trip Abroad (VIEX, per its Spanish acronym) and returned to its home port at the Callao Naval Base after traveling 18,000 miles in six months.

“You have returned healthy, better people, and sailors,” Peruvian Minister of Defense Jorge Nieto Montesinos said to cadets who participated in the trip. Accompanied by Admiral Gonzalo Nicolás Ríos Polastri, general commander of the Peruvian Navy (MGP, per its Spanish acronym), Nieto welcomed the 347 crew members, including 83 third-year cadets from the Naval School of Peru.

Training on the high seas

“I have the privilege, along with this promotion, to be one of the few to have this training,” Cadet Richard Valdez Ticona said upon arrival. For his part, Cadet Fernando Luque Pereyra highlighted the leadership of the BAP Union officers. “It’s been hard work, but this is a team,” Cadet Pereyra said. “There was trust from the officers [...]. In my case, I feel that we've had some first class officers, excellent professionals whom I hope to meet in the future and work with.”

The Union's second training trip was the first to make a stop in Europe. The ship set off from Callao on May 11th and visited 18 ports in 12 countries: Balboa and Colón, Panamá; Jacksonville, Norfolk, and Boston, United States; Charlottetown, Canada; London, England; Hamburg, Germany; Rotterdam, Holland; Le Havre, France; La Coruña, Cádiz, and Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Guayaquil, Ecuador; and Paita, Peru.

While at sea, cadets received a theoretical and practical training to strengthen their maritime skills in real-life conditions. Students learned to work as a team and participated in lessons on celestial navigation, meteorology, oceanography, and sail maneuvers.

“We started with a training phase: they took the sailing training ship course for 20 days until we arrived at the port of Jacksonville [United States],” MGP Captain Franz Bittrich Ramírez, ship commander, told Diálogo. “Then we started training in teams at each mast.”

A multifaceted mission

In addition to being a training cruise, the BAP Union fulfills a diplomatic mission and promotes cooperation and friendship among the armed forces of partner nations. As such, in addition to Peruvian officers, cadets, technical personnel and seamen, the ship's crew included officers from Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, and Canada.

The ship served as a roaming embassy and shared Peruvian culture with the thousands of people who came on board. Military and civilian officials from each country welcomed crew members, who participated in various events and cultural visits, such as to navy museums. They also paid the traditional homage to MGP Admiral Miguel Grau in foreign ports where a bust of the Peruvian naval hero is found.

“[Being in] these 12 countries gave me a cultural education, [allowed me to] become a man of the world,” Cadet Valdez said. “You learn nautical, maritime training, and apart from that, it’s a source of pride to have a Peruvian waiting for you in each port.”

Built to stand out

In its voyage around the world, the ship also took part in various maritime events, which served as training for cadets. At the mid-June Sail Boston 2017 naval parade in the United States, the BAP Union won the Tall Ships category. In Canada, the ship won first place of Race 4 at the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta that celebrated Canada’s 150-year anniversary. In addition to theoretical lessons, “the training served to win the competition,” said Capt. Bittrich.

Launched in December 2014, the four-masted ship BAP Union is more than 115 meters long, 13.5 meters wide, and has 34 sails. The BAP Union also has a displacement of 3,200 tons and reaches a speed of 12 knots. The sailing ship, built in the Navy Industrial Services Shipyard with the support of Spain, is the second largest training ship in the world.

A way of life

A touching moment at the return of the BAP Union occurred when four of its crew members met their children born during the mission. “It’s very gratifying to see my son after a long voyage,” said Technical Helmsman Yosep Cántaro García. “I found out he was born July 19th when we were sailing through London, and I was quite emotional.” Second Lieutenant Diego Zárate García was thankful. “I couldn't be with my daughter for six months, but now I'm very happy.” For Capt. Bittrich, joining MGP can be summarized in one simple sentence: “The Navy is not a job but a way of life, and one needs to make sacrifices for life.”

The planning process for the third BAP Union mission is already underway. It will include four months of planning and navigation tests in March 2018. The captain indicated his satisfaction with the second completed mission. “I feel confident that the Navy's future is assured with these cadets,” he concluded. “We are delivering a cohesive group to the Naval School, with firm values and convictions.”

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