Vice Chief of the Defence Force building bonds with the Chilean Armed Forces
10 February 2014
Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Air Marshal Mark Binskin has returned from a successful visit to increase Australia’s defence ties with Chile.
Air Marshal Binskin’s visit to Chile is the most senior level Australian Defence Force visit to Latin America in recent memory.
Over the past two years, both countries have been expanding their bilateral defence engagement through strategic dialogue, educational exchanges and defence trade.
Australia and Chile make natural partners as like-minded nations with similar military capabilities and shared security interests in the Asia Pacific.
Hosted by Vice Admiral Jose Romero, Chief of Joint Staff Chilean Armed Forces, Air Marshal Binskin met with the Chiefs of the Chilean Army and Air Force, Senior Naval Officers and the Vice Minister of Defence.
Air Marshal Binskin also visited Chilean military units in the north of the country, including the F-16 fighters of the 1st Air Brigade. With all of these interlocutors, Air Marshal Binskin shared perspectives on the South Pacific security and discussed options for future practical cooperation.
“I have been very impressed by the capability and professionalism of the Chilean Armed Forces. Australia values Chile's commitment to cooperation in the South Pacific,” Air Marshal Binskin said.
“Australia is committed to building the emerging partnership with Chile in the South Pacific and bonds between our militaries.”
“In coming years the Australia-Chile defence relationship will continue to grow at both the strategic and practical levels,” he said.
Chile participated at the inaugural South Pacific Defence Ministers’ Meeting, held in Tonga in May 2013, which aims to improve regional security cooperation and coordination.
Defence will participate in the bilateral Senior Officials Talks and our navies will increase cooperation through Exercise RIMPAC 2014.
Australia has invited Chile to send an officer to attend the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies for the first time at the Australian Defence College in 2015.
Air Marshal Binskin also paid his respects at the site where the Chilean warship Esmeralda was sunk in the Battle of Iquique in 1879, suffering significant loss of life, accompanied by the Commander of the 4th Naval Zone and the Commander of Joint Forces.
Imagery is available at: http://images.defence.gov.au/S20140232
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999