By MC2 Michael Hendricks


The Inter-American Naval Telecommunications Network (IANTN) Secretariat celebrated its 50th anniversary by conducting a Combined Enterprise Regional Information Exchange System (CENTRIXS) video teleconference at U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet (USNAVSO/FOURTHFLT) headquarters, June 23.

The IANTN mission is to maintain a permanent link between naval authorities of the Americas. As the Secretariat, which is based out of USNAVSO/FOURTHFLT headquarters, its mission is to instruct procedural compliance, continually increase communication efficiency, and hold oversight of all IANTN detachments and operational centers, incorporating operational training and maintenance of the network.

Utilizing CENTRIXS as its primary means of communication between all detachments, the system provides a secure information exchange and is becoming the standard for use throughout the entirety of the U.S. Northern Command and U.S. Southern Command areas of responsiblities. 

"It is essential to have a common means of communicating and imperative to overcoming challenges such as spectrum management, system incompatibilities and language barriers," said IANTN Secretary Cmdr. Robert Matthias. "Communication is core to C2 within military operations and emergency response.  Having CENTRIXS-IANTN capabilities in place, and commonplace, is critical to support how American Navies securely plan and execute in the Maritime Operating Environment."

IANTN was established on March 31, 1962 among nine navies including: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, United States of America, Uruguay and Venezuela. The IANTN Secretariat was established on June 23, 1967 with the intent to establish a staff of dedicated military and civilian personnel to manage and supervise the efficiency of IANTN.

From the original nine countries there are now 18 that have since been incorporated, to include: Bolivia, Canada, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Paraguay.

"As part of the IANTN Secretariat, it is an incredible opportunity to visit our Inter-American detachments and operation centers," said Matthias. "But away from this job's responsibilities, I get an inside look at common values shared with partner nations, a chance to redefine "The Navy Team" by supporting an international network, and meet the talented men and women who make it all happen.  I am truly honored to being part of a collective effort that literally spans from the Canadian Arctic to the southernmost point of South America."