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The Commanders Respond: Admiral José Saldanha Lopes - Portuguese Navy

Though presence is by itself an unquestionable deterrent, effective and proper reactions need a much deeper approach. The ability to swiftly act against threats relies primarily on a sound surveillance setup and the prompt analysis and exchange of information, which in turn can trigger the proper alerts to bring about a timely and suitable response.

Thus, a change in overall asset availability can be seen as an opportunity to develop, or refine, concepts, procedures, and methods toward more cost-effective solutions. In that scope, it will be important to improve information-sharing which, in turn, calls for greater cooperation among intelligence communities. Additionally, it stands as an opportunity to enhance interoperability and to improve dialogue between maritime operational centers.

Another side of global security is confidence, which can be forged through capacity-building. In this realm we see the Portuguese Navy as particularly useful, given the strong ties to countries that lie within troubled areas, especially in Africa, where Portugal maintains standing military cooperation programs. In addition, one can exploit the dual role nature of the Portuguese Navy in both military defense and constabulary-like tasks. That unique feature allows for the establishment of special capability packages that can be offered to provide international maritime cooperation a broader range. When weighing different approaches to balance the overall decrease in naval assets, there is an opportunity for the Portuguese Navy to enhance its participation in multilateral endeavors focusing on maritime security.

Our navy therefore remains committed to closer international cooperation, and we will regard any change in U.S. naval strategy as a chance to better merge countries’ know-how and capabilities to improve overall maritime security.



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