A new U.S. defense strategy unveiled in January calls for a resized, refocused military. Proceedings asked the leaders of the world’s sea services: In an era of austere defense budgets and rapidly increasing technologies, what are the strategic objectives for your naval force over the next 5 years? 10 years? 20 years?
Admiral Edmundo Gonzalez Robles
The dynamism of today’s global environment compels the Chilean Navy to face the diverse scenarios for the forthcoming dozen years by setting objectives aimed at developing persistent and effective strategic capabilities, achieving operational excellence in the use of its assets, and maximising efficiency in the use of assigned resources.
The navy’s development is based on a modernization process encompassing both naval and maritime capabilities. The protection of our territorial integrity being a high priority, we try to balance our needs and resources with stronger, more versatile assets that can be deployed in joint, combined, maritime, and interagency operations. The procurement of second-hand surface combatants has been a cost-effective solution for fleet renewal. Now that the process has been completed, we are focused on enhancing disaster-relief and maritime-surveillance capabilities through the acquisition of offshore-patrol vessels built in our main shipyard.
In the middle and short term, decisions at the budgetary level have enabled us to encourage cooperation with other military and civilian organizations—both national and international—through maritime security cooperation and joint and combined training. Those initiatives let us maximize interoperability and achieve the operational excellence needed to manage the deterrence level our national plan requires.
Likewise, the effective and efficient use of resources represents a prime concern for us, as that has a major effect on the spheres of operations for our navy, marines, and coast guard. In that sense, we are committed to implement modern and comprehensive management to our infrastructure and processes, thus contributing to better feedback for planning and a more rigorous system budget formulation and execution.
Aware of the fundamental role played by technologies in the previously mentioned processes, we are taking all necessary steps to acquire standardized matériel and promote standardization in our logistics-critical industries. Additionally, we are looking at the possibility of incorporating renewable energies, adapting commercial technologies, and strengthening joint projects, all of which are expected to bring financial benefits.
Finally, our personnel also deserve special attention. We believe that well-prepared and motivated individuals are vital to achieve our goals. Consequently, we work hard to optimize knowledge-management and improve the quality of our education programs, to meet college-level standards. We want to modernize and upgrade so the navy is an attractive career path, one that draws young men and women who want to be part of an institution capable of adapting to an ever-changing world, preparing for tomorrow’s challenges, preserving its traditional underlying values, and always taking pride in the actions of its valuable personnel.