Meet our Navy



The Commander-in-Chief of the Navy

Valparaiso, Sotomayor Square. In the foreground one can see the monument commemorating the heroes of the Naval Action at Iquique, and, in the background, the headquarters of the Chilean Navy. Valparaiso, Sotomayor Square. In the foreground one can see the monument commemorating the heroes of the Naval Action at Iquique, and, in the background, the headquarters of the Chilean Navy. The Institution's highest Command. The Commander-in-Chief works with a set of direct advisory bodies formed by Officers who carry out the Navy's High Command. These include the Strategic Planning Council (for institutional direction issues), the...

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The Chilean Navy

Those who believe that the main actions and responsibilities of the Chilean Navy are limited to the defence of sovereignty and territorial integrity need to know that our mission as an organization of National Defence, also includes the protection and development of maritime interests and the support of foreign policy of State. In accordance with this, we have developed a strategy called the “Three Vectors Strategy” in reference to the activities relevant to our major responsibilities which are: Defence, Maritime and International.

AREA OF MARITIME RESPONSIBILITY Our Navy is the extension of the state towards the sea, where Chile has commitments and responsibilities in an area covering approximately 26,476,005. Km2 of ocean compared to the 750,096 Km2 of our South American continental insular territory In this vast ocean, our Navy protects human life by assuming search and rescue responsibilities in addition to the monitoring of maritime traffic. Within the Exclusive Economic Zone the Chilean Navy Admiral Enrique Larrañaga, Chilean Navy Commander in Chief monitors an area covering approximately 4,542,990. Km2 ensuring the prevention of depredation of...

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The Sea: Essential to Chile’s Development

Since the beginning of its history, the Chilean Sea has been a valuable source of natural resources for its population and is the country's most important gateway to the rest of the world. Currently, maritime transport is responsible for carrying over 80% of Chile's foreign trade. Chile's major markets are located in the Asia-Pacific region, followed by the United States, South America and Europe. Moreover, the sea enables the development of activities such as fishing, aquaculture and tourism, all of which are essential to Chile's economy. The recent discovery of extensive deposits of gas hydrates means that the latter may become...

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The Navy: A key institution in Chile

The aforementioned clearly demonstrates the important role that the Chilean Sea has played in the country's development given the large number of economic resources to be found in its depths. By the use of established methods, this great wealth must receive constant protection against possible threats in order to safeguard the environment and preserve the marine resources. These methods also include the security of navigational routes thereby ensuring defence against external attacks and problems such as piracy, drug trafficking and terrorism. Such delicate and important functions can only be carried out by an extremely...

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The Navy: presence from the beginning of Chile’s History

he beginnings of the Chilean Navy dates back to 1818, the same year that Chile was proclaimed an independent nation. A year before, following the Battle of Chacabuco, General Bernardo O'Higgins prophetically declared "this victory and another hundred shall be of no significance if we do not gain control of the sea. Setting sail of the First National Fleet. 10 October 1818. Painting by Thomas Somerscales (Valparaiso Naval Club). This led to the development of Chile's Naval Power, and the first legal resolutions outlining the organization of the institution were created. Chile's First National Fleet and the Academy for Young...

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Outstanding actions in our Naval History

Chile's Independence Once Chile had been proclaimed a Republic in 1818, Bernardo O'Higgins, known as the "Liberator" of Chile, gave momentum to the creation of the First National Fleet thus setting in motion the first naval actions that would contribute to the unification of the nation. Capture of the brigantine "Aguila(26 February 1817) The capture took place in the bay of Valparaiso and provided the Chilean Navy with its first ship. Once captured, the brigantine was immediately assigned the task of rescuing a group of Chilean patriots from the Juan Fernandez Islands. The group included Manuel Blanco Encalada, who subsequently...

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Greatest Hero of the Chilean Navy

His address to the crew of the "Esmeralda" before the Iquique Naval Battle has been preserved in Chilean history: "Fellow combatants, the odds are against us. Our colors have never been lowered to the enemy, and I trust this will not be the occasion to do so. For as long as I live, that flag will fly high in its place and if I die, my officers will know how to fulfill their duty". Commander Arturo Prat The figure of Commander Arturo Prat and his heroic act truly represents the commitment and loyalty that all Chilean Navy members have for their institution and country. On May 21st1879 during the "War of the Pacific" against Peru...

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The Navy's most valuable asset: its people

The most important asset of the Chilean Navy are the 21,773 men and women, of which approximately 91% are professionals who work throughout the maritime territory. All of them have solid principals and values and possess a strong vocation to serve their country. . These strong principals are not only apparent in their every day work activities but also form part of their family lives. This strong vocation to serve their country is inherited from a long list of naval heroes of which Commander Arturo Prat is the most prominent. Commander Arturo Prat became a national hero after losing his life in 1879 as a result of his exemplary...

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A Forward-Looking Tradition Education

The Arturo Prat Naval Academy located in Valparaiso, is where future Navy Officers receive their academic, moral, cultural and physical fitness education that will enable them to develop the necessary leadership skills to command personnel and to efficiently manage the institutions resources. Navy Officers are classified in two categories Seagoing Officers and Services Officers the latter being shore based positions. While at the Academy, future Officers have the option of choosing to specialize in the following areas: Executive, Naval Engineering, Marine Corp, Naval Aviation, Coast Guard, Supplies or Services that includes...

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Naval Zones Commands: the Presence of the Navy throughout Chile

In order to efficiently carry out its functions throughout Chile's maritime territory, the Chilean Navy has divided the country into four Naval Zones with their own Naval Commands. The Naval Zone Commands have specific geographical areas that link operational and logistical forces together aimed at contributing to the defense of Chile's maritime territory and the control and protection of maritime traffic in its jurisdictional areas. They are made up of combat, maritime and coastal patrol forces and logistical support units.

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The Three Vectors Strategy

The Navy's actions and its role in the international realm form the basis of the Three Vectors Naval Strategy. The objective of this strategy is to obtain control of the sea so that, during times of conflict, or peace the Armed Forces may act freely and Chile's maritime activities may take place without interference or restrictions. These three vectors, Defense, Maritime and International, are all inter-connected and complement each other. They aim to protect Chile's sovereignty and it's territory thus controlling and supervising Chile's maritime areas and promotes Chile's maritime interests worldwide. The Defence Vector This...

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The International Vector

On an international level, the Navy's main challenge is to integrate today's globalized world. With 80% of total foreign trade carried out by shipping, the Chilean economy relies on appropriate maritime trade routes that enable the efficient flow of passengers, services and goods. There is therefore a very real need for the formation of a cooperative security system between nations with common interests so as to preserve world peace and stability. Just as Chile is open to accepting the benefits of globalization, it must also be willing to participate in the efforts necessary to attain stability and order at a global level. The...

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Supporting the Community

Apart from being responsible for defending the nation's sovereignty and its territory, the Chilean Navy is also involved in serving the public and supporting the country's citizens by means of assignments that have a direct effect upon Chile's development. The Naval ships link Chile's Pacific and Southern remote island regions, thus integrating its disjointed geography and acting as a binding agent for Chile's tri-continental features. The transport of passengers, especially during the school year and during emergencies together with the supply of provisions and fuel, are of key importance to the inhabitants of these insular...

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The Navy's Permanent Presence in the Antarctic

The Chilean Navy has been present in the Antarctic continent since 1947. Current institutional activities in the region aim to maintain the Navy's presence in the Chilean Antarctic Territory. In addition to logistical support to Chilean and foreign scientific bases the Chilean Navy supports maritime search and rescue life-saving activities and combats marine contamination in the region by carrying out regular  hydrographic studies. Every year, the Chilean Navy operates the Combined Antarctic Naval Patrol, together with the Argentinean Navy, aimed at safeguarding human life at sea, from Cape Horn to the Antarctic Territory.

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Contribution to the Development of Chile

The Chilean Navy carries out a valuable contribution to the development of the country.

Some of these activities are: - Safety in beaches and bathing resorts- Assistance to extreme or isolated zones- Medical Assistance Transport- Safety in ports- Alarm system for tidal waves- Weather forecast- Maritime Search and Rescue- Maritime Instruction and Training- Maritime aids to navigation- Nautical Cartography- Time signal Furthermore, the Chilean Navy carries out a permanent contribution to the development of the country in collaboration with other state organizations as follows: - Supervision of Fishing(National Fishing Service) - Control of Smuggling(National Customs Service) - Control of Traffic in narcotics(Police...

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Research

One of the ways in which the Chilean Navy has contributed to national development is by means of the oceanographic ship "Vidal Gormaz", to search for natural gas beneath the seabed of the Chilean coast. This project is being developed together with the Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso and the United States' Office of Naval Research. Likewise, the Hydrographic Service Patrol vessel "Corneta Cabrales", South America's most modern research platform, owing to its state-of-the-art technology, supports the production of new nautical cartography on an ongoing basis. The Chilean Navy participates alongside NASA and the Centre...

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Technical and Scientific Support

Nautical Cartography The Navy's Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service (SHOA) is constantly developing new nautical cartography that enables safe navigation in Chilean waters. The Institution develops charts in electronic format that are increasingly accurate, making them more compatible with the modern navigation systems used by the ships currently in service. Meteorology The support provided by the Navy's Meteorological Service encompasses a whole range of maritime activities. It issues daily forecasts and weather warnings in Spanish and English, and provides meteorological charts in accordance with international commitments on...

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