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U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFFC)

Submarine Forces Hosts 2023 DESI Closing Ceremony

by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Cameron Stoner
29 November 2023
Colombian Navy Submarine ARC Pijao Sailors join Vice Adm. Orlando Grisales, Colombian Navy Chief of Staff for Naval Operations, in a group photo following an award ceremony at Naval Station Mayport, Florida.
SLIDESHOW | 2 images | U.S.-Colombia Diesel-Electric Submarine Initiative Deployment Closing Ceremony Colombian Navy Submarine ARC Pijao Sailors join Vice Adm. Orlando Grisales, Colombian Navy Chief of Staff for Naval Operations, in a group photo following an award ceremony at Naval Station Mayport, Florida. ARC Pijao successfully completed Colombia’s 2023 Diesel-Electric Submarine Initiative (DESI) deployment to the U.S. East Coast. DESI, established in 2001 by U.S. Fleet Forces Command, is an international program headed by Commander, Submarine Forces U.S. Atlantic Fleet, which works to enhance the Navy's capability to operate with diesel-electric submarines by partnering with South American navies. This was the Colombian Navy’s 13th DESI deployment. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist John Fischer)
NORFOLK, Va. - Commander, Submarine Forces hosted a Diesel-Electric Submarine Initiative (DESI) closing ceremony for the conclusion of the 2023 deployment season with the Colombian submarine ARC Pijao (SS 28) on Naval Station Mayport, Florida, Nov. 17.

Established in U.S. Fleet Forces Command in 2001, DESI is an international program headed by Commander, Submarine Forces U.S. Atlantic Fleet which works to enhance the Navy’s capability to operate with diesel-electric submarines by partnering with South American navies.

Vice Adm. William Houston, commander, U.S. Submarine Forces, spoke on the importance of DESI in deepening the relationships between the participating nations’ navies and sailors.

"For 22 years DESI has continued to highlight the importance of fostering cooperative relationships and the mutual benefits these relationships provide to participating nations' capabilities," said Houston. "DESI deployments and exercises are crucial to strengthening the relationships between our navies and sailors. By doing so, we will continue to assure regional cooperation, security and interoperability."

During the ceremony, Houston and the Colombian navy’s Chief of Operations Staff Vice Adm. Orlando Grisales, met onboard the Pijao at Naval Station Mayport to confirm and sign Concept of Operations letters to extend Colombia’s participation in the DESI program.
 
“I would like to thank and recognize the professional level of the captain and crew of ARC Pijao for their performance during the recent U.S. Navy fleet exercises,” said Grisales. “We are proud of their performance and look forward to future deployments here in the United States, operations that enhance our interoperability and strengthen our partnership as maritime forces.”

The Colombian navy conducted their first DESI deployment in 2004 and this marks the 13th deployment in support of DESI.

DESI provides a unique training environment which allows U.S anti-submarine warfare forces to operate with diesel-electric submarines that make up most of the world’s submarine force, as well as providing an opportunity to operate with a valued partner nation.

The participation of South American submarines in fleet training and certification events adds an additional degree of difficulty and realism to fleet ASW training exercises, as diesel-electric submarines have proven to be elusive and difficult to track.

The mission of the Submarine Force is to execute the Department of the Navy’s mission in and from the undersea domain. In addition to lending added capacity to naval forces, the Submarine Force, in particular, is expected to leverage those special advantages that come with undersea concealment to permit operational, deterrent and combat effects that the Navy and nation could not otherwise achieve.

The Submarine Force and supporting organizations constitute the primary undersea arm of the Navy. Submarines and their crews remain the tip of the undersea spear.


 
 
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