By MC2 Michael Hendricks


Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet, Rear Adm. Sean Buck, hosted the Commander of Training and Operations of the Armada de Argentine, Rear Adm. Luis Lopez Mazzeo, and other senior Argentine naval officers to conduct Maritime Staff Talks (MST) from April 3-5.

The MST with the senior Argentine naval officers supports the U.S. global maritime strategy by building and strengthening our working relationships and improving our interoperability with partner nations through these face-to-face meetings.

 "Argentine and U.S. Navy delegates sitting side-by-side today to begin this noteworthy round of talks serves as a meaningful sign of the rekindling of our maritime partnership," said Buck, addressing the delegation during opening remarks. "To target the transregional and transnational threat networks that work against our collective interests we must rely on strong partners."

While visiting the area, Lopez Mazzeo and his staff visited Naval Air Station Jacksonville, where they toured Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing Eleven facilities.

Argentina is slated to participate in UNITAS 2017 along with 17other partner nations. UNITAS is a multi-lateral exercise intended to improve the ability of participating naval forces to work and operate together.

In May 2016, the U.S. Department of Defense hosted the first Bilateral Working Group with the Argentine armed forces since 2009. 

The agenda included peacekeeping, disaster preparedness and response, and hemispheric defense cooperation. 

U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet (USNAVSO/FOURTHFLT) fulfills the maritime role within U.S. Southern Command's joint and combined military operations. USNAVSO/FOURTHFLT employs maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations to maintain access, fortify the ability of U.S. forces to work together with partner nations, and build enduring partnerships with the ultimate goal of enhancing regional security and promoting peace, stability, and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central, and South American regions.