Those who believe that the main actions and responsibilities of the Chilean Navy are limited to the defence of sovereignty and territorial integrity need to know that our mission as an organization of National Defence, also includes the protection and development of maritime interests and the support of foreign policy of State. In accordance with this, we have developed a strategy called the “Three Vectors Strategy” in reference to the activities relevant to our major responsibilities which are: Defence, Maritime and International.
Admiral Edmundo González, Chilean Navy Commander in Chief
Our Navy is the extension of the state towards the sea, where Chile has commitments and responsibilities in an area covering approximately 26,476,005. Km2 of ocean compared to the 750,096 Km2 of our South American continental insular territory
In this vast ocean, our Navy protects human life by assuming search and rescue responsibilities in addition to the monitoring of maritime traffic. Within the Exclusive Economic Zone the Chilean Navy monitors an area covering approximately 4,542,990. Km2 ensuring the prevention of depredation of natural resources in an effort to protect the ecosystem from unauthorized activities. We also contribute with oceanographic research in the adjacent zone of up to 24 nautical miles from the Chilean coast line where we in addition, also strive to prevent drug trafficking and other illegal activities.
Due to the geographical reality of our country our Navy has always supported that part of the population who live in isolated areas.
In order to support the maritime traffic that navigate through our area of responsibility, we supply navigational charts and maritime aids as required.
The Chilean Navy’s presence is not restricted to an area delimited by parallels and meridians. We are and always will be present where the interests of Chile are involved. The new international situation requires us to participate in collective security measures in accordance with international law. This is particularly important in the case of our country which has an open economy in which 80 percent of our imports and exports are conveyed by sea. This fact requires efficient maritime lines of communications which makes for an efficient flow of people, services and goods.
The resulting challenge for our Navy is “to be prepared” with human resources, as part of a structure that enables it to contribute to the stability and order where our national interests are concerned. To this end, we direct our efforts to achieve an authentic and efficient interaction with other navies in the region and in those areas of the world that are related to these interests. We must also be prepared for the challenges imposed by the “emerging threats”, such as terrorism, drug trafficking and illegal immigration by sea. To minimize these dangers and risks, we must cooperate with our neighbours and contribute with humanitarian assistance in the case of natural disasters and participate in peace missions among other tasks, which are all part of our international responsibilities.
Edmundo González Robles
Commander-in-Chief of the Chilean Navy
Valparaiso – 2009