By MC2 Michael Hendricks
U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command & U.S. 4th Fleet Public Affairs
U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet (USNAVSO/FOURTHFLT) hosted the annual Maritime Synchronization Conference (MSC) on board Naval Station Mayport, Nov. 28-Dec. 1.
The conference joins U.S. Navy attaches and section chiefs from the U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) area of responsibility (AOR), which encompasses the Caribbean, and Central and South America. It also includes other service surrogates and stakeholders from component, service, theater and national agencies to discuss common naval issues and concerns to develop innovative solutions for current and future operations.
"This is a great opportunity for us to get together and synchronize our efforts," said Rear Adm. Linda Wackerman, deputy commander of USNAVSO/FOURTHFLT, during opening remarks. "We have been in extremely busy times recently, and this is a valuable time for us to work out our maritime collaboration and cooperation over the next few days."
Thirty-four U.S. military personnel from 18 U.S. embassy Department of Defense teams (security cooperation organization and defense attache representatives) are attending the conference from the countries of Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru and Uruguay.
"This is a time for us to reflect and coordinate so we can bring all of your innovative thoughts together as we get ready for 2018 and future engagements and partnerships coming up," said Wackerman.
The annual conference is based on the foundations of the Maritime Security Cooperation policy signed by the chief of naval operations, commandant of the Marine Corps and the commandant of the Coast Guard in 2013. The primary objective of the conference is to coordinate and synchronize fiscal year 2019-2022 maritime component security cooperation activities in support of the SOUTHCOM Theater Campaign Plan and the Tri-Service (USN-USMC-USCG) Maritime Security Cooperation guidance.
Other commands and agencies attending the conference are the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Defense Intelligence Agency, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Southern Command, U.S. Coast Guard International Affairs, Special Operations Command South, Navy International Programs Office, Naval Education and Training Security Assistance Field Activity, Naval Small Craft Instruction and Technical Training School, U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Naval War College, Naval Criminal Investigative Service Southeast Field Office, Office of Naval Intelligence, and Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command.
The conference began in 2003, previously known as the Navy Section Chief Synchronization conference, and was designed to inform Navy section chiefs about theater security cooperation activities that support USSOUTHCOM objectives for current and upcoming years.
USNAVSO/FOURTHFLT supports USSOUTHCOM's joint and combined military operations by employing maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations in order to maintain access, enhance interoperability, and build enduring partnerships, in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions.
4th Fleet Hosts Maritime Synchronization Conference
By MC2 Michael Hendricks