Rear Adm. George Ballance, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command (USNAVSO)/U.S. 4th Fleet, welcomed members of the Colombian Navy to Naval Station Mayport in Mayport, Florida, for the annual U.S. Navy and Colombian Navy Operational Naval Committee (ONC) conference, May 20 – 21.
During the ONC conference, participants engaged in face-to-face discussions regarding their involvement in various exercises and theater security cooperation events for the upcoming year.
ONC Colombia resulted in a memorandum of understanding (MOU), signed this year by Ballance and Colombian Rear Adm. Mario German Rodrigues Viera, commander, Eastern Naval Force of the Republic of Colombia. The MOU outlines U.S. and Colombia’s interactions for the coming year.
Colombia and the U.S. have a strong partnership, evidenced through their focus on maritime security and enhanced through joint exercises and events. Cooperation and training events in the past have included PANAMAX and UNITAS series of exercises. These exchanges resulted from work done at previous ONC meetings.
ONCs provide a platform for the U.S. Navy to engage with partner nations and identify efforts that will enhance relationships and mutually beneficial goals. The agreements they produce and engagements they lead to directly support the U.S. Navy’s new maritime strategy, which emphasizes cooperative relationships with international partners.
Image: US Navy