Story Number: NNS140331-10Release Date: 3/31/2014 11:10:00 AM
From U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet Public Affairs
NAVAL STATION MAYPORT, Fla. (NNS) -- An Argentinean officer assumed the role of deputy secretary of the Inter-American Naval Telecommunications Network during a March 26 ceremony at U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet headquarters here.
Capitan de Corbeta (Lt. Cmdr.) Oscar Latorre replaced Capitan de Fragata (Cmdr.) Jose Antonio Mejia Flores of the Mexican navy.
"I feel so honored to have been able to serve with this organization for the peace of the western hemisphere," said Mejia, who received the IANTN medal and 50th Anniversary coin from Cmdr. Bradley Maas, the IANTN secretary, during the ceremony, attended by Rear Adm. Sinclair Harris, the U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet commander.
"You have represented Mexico as well as it could be represented," Harris told Mejia.
The work of IANTN is essential to keeping the hemisphere stable, secure and united, he added.
"Regardless of the political circumstances - the situation above us - our navies have got to be able to interoperate," Harris said. "It starts with this staff, and it starts with the communications between nations."
Created in 1962 at the third Inter-American Naval Conference, in Vina Del Mar, Chile, IANTN provides secure communications at sea to ships of its 18 member countries. In addition to Argentina, Mexico and the United States and Chile, those countries include Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Originally based in Panama, the secretariat moved first to Puerto Rico and from there to U.S. 4th Fleet headquarters in Mayport. Its staff includes three Latin American officers and one Latin American chief petty officer.
Noting that foreign officers assigned to Mayport improve their practical English quickly, Harris presented Latorre with a copy of "Embrace the Suck," a dictionary of U.S. military jargon.
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