Admiral Guillermo Enrique Barrera Hurtado - Colombian Navy

This evaluation comes in the middle of a significant limitation of resources that has led the navy to revise its responses to internal, regional, and marine security threats by implementing a force structure that grants the required capacities to the navy to effectively fulfil its mission. One significant characteristic of this process is that the requirements of the ideal permanent structure must be balanced with the limited resources available.

We seek—within the fundamental principles of the modernization process with limited resources—a flexibility of means that looks for greater effectiveness across a range of threats in varied environments. For example, in 2009 with more limited means than in previous years, the Colombian Navy seized 97.4 tons of cocaine, practically one-third of the country's estimated annual output. This figure is only surpassed by that captured by the U.S. Navy.

International cooperation is a fundamental principle that allows more efficient use of operational resources because the wide variety of transnational threats—terrorism, drug trafficking, and piracy, for instance—affects the national interests of numerous countries around the world.

During the first Marine Symposium Against the Drug Trafficking in the American Continent, which took place at Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, on 19-21 November 2008, the 26 participating countries lent their support to a Colombian initiative to create the International Marine Center Against Drug Trafficking. The center is designed to improve strategies and action to face sea-borne drug traffic, and will promote cooperation among peer navies, coast guard, and marine services of the American continent, as well as with relevant world agencies. In addition, it will offer opportunities for coordinated training using a Colombia Coast Guard school ship for those interested in supporting the development of a combined doctrine and strategies for combating narcotic trafficking. This year the navy has introduced two international courses in marine drug traffic interdiction, which is based on the Colombia Navy's great experience in fighting this scourge.

Transnational threats can best be faced by combined-arms operations complemented by effective intelligence and information exchange, based on a multilateral strategy analysis of operational and tactical procedures.

 

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