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News | May 23, 2019

U.S.-Colombian Maritime Staff Talks Conclude at Castillo de San Marcos

By U.S. 4th Fleet Public Affairs

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (NNS) (NNS) -- Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet, Rear Adm. Sean Buck, hosted the Colombian Commander of Naval Operations, Vice Adm. Gabriel Perez and other senior Colombian naval officers to conduct Maritime Staff Talks (MST) at the Florida National Guard headquarters in St. Augustine, May 15-17.

MSTs support the U.S. global strategy by building and strengthening working relationships between the U.S. and partner nations and improving interoperability through face-to-face meetings.

“Our regional challenges require cooperative solutions,” said Buck. “We cannot solve them alone, but together we can bring those solutions to fruition. Coming together is a wonderful chemistry of capacity as well as capability to achieve our goals. These staff talks serve as the foundation to discuss solution sets to combat, man-made or natural, crises with little to no notice.”

Colombia and the U.S., along with many other partner nations, will come together again this summer to participate in the annual exercise UNITAS, which is the longest-running annual maritime exercise in the world that is geared toward improving the coordination and multinational cooperation of the participating forces.

Upon the conclusion of the MST, both nations will have a stronger working relationship and clear-cut goals for the upcoming year to enhance interoperability through numerous multinational exercises.

U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet (USNAVSO/FOURTHFLT) fulfills the maritime role under U.S. Southern Command by employing 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 to promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central, and South American regions.

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