May 17 is an unnoticed date for the common denominator of Argentines. But for the sailor, that day is not one more: that day commemorates the day of the Argentine Navy.
In times of Google and quick answers we can find that that day is celebrated because on May 17, 1884, a naval force of the incipient country called Argentina, commanded by Admiral Guillermo Brown, achieved the naval triumph in the so-called Combat of Montevideo on the realistic square that dominated until that moment the waters of the Río de la Plata.
The victory meant the consolidation of the principles of the May Revolution preceding that victory, sporadic battles such as San Nicolás and others.
In memory of that date, and by Decree No. 5304 of May 12, 1960, President Arturo Frondizi officially decrees May 17 as the day of the Argentine Navy. Dates Only dates
But to speak of the Navy or the Navy only with dates is to mention numbers that may soon be forgotten. The man of the sea prefers to speak with his heart, with his feeling, with the job of being a sailor, with the salty taste of the sea hitting his face in every navigation.
By definition, “The Argentine Navy is the institution that has the maritime interests of the Nation in its custody.”
And for that, every day, in a programmed and structured way along our maritime coast, the means and men that compose this Institution, carry out a myriad of unknown and unimaginable tasks for the Litoraleño that lives far from the sea.
Describing each and every one of them would be very extensive, but those tasks are mainly, “the permanent training and exercise in the art of navigation and war or combat in the sea”.
But far from being the only function. Since with those means, material and human that the Nation assigns us and that is of all the Argentines, the Navy effects, the patrolling of the EEZ (Exclusive Economy Zone) of 200 nautical miles of our continental platform, against the illegal fishing and protection of our interests and fish fauna.
The Navy is always present, providing humanitarian aid in cases of natural disasters or climatic calamities such as floods. Or through the Fluvial Sanitary Campaign, that year after year takes place in riverside towns of Paraná in the provinces of Entre Ríos, Chaco and Corrientes.
It is a fundamental pillar of the logistic support of the Argentine and foreign Antarctic bases, through the ARA Breaker “Almirante Irizar” and other auxiliary vessels, bringing and bringing scientists from all areas to the Antarctic bases, carrying out the relief of the personnel of the bases.
It also carries out the permanent coverage of the SAR guard (search and rescue) of every wrecked or emergency vessel of any nationality that navigates Argentine waters, through compliance with approved international protocols. And there the Navy is present with its means and its men.
Part of its function, permanent and silent, is patrolling in the southern seas, also covering permanence guards in inhospitable places where its presence makes the National Pavilion fly, these are the Maritime Traffic Control and Surveillance Posts along the Beagle Channel and its area of influence.
But neither does its function and mission end in this alone.
It is vital to help mariners along the maritime coast, in addition to permanent surveys for the daily preparation and updating of the nautical charts and the publications of Help to the Navigators. Scientific investigation of the seabed and seabed and fish fauna through its Hydrographic and Oceanographic vessels, through the Naval Hydrography Service.
And until the official time, given by the atomic clock located at the Naval Observatory in La Boca.
But the activities of the Argentine Navy transcend our borders, our waters.
The Institution has been collaborating for years in Peace and Humanitarian Aid missions through the Blue Helmets as in Cyprus and Haiti, having participated in other theatres of operations where, under the Mandate of the United Nations, the Navy makes its presence and collaborates actively and permanently adding to Argentina the Nations that watch over peace.
The Freedom Frigate, which carries out every year the 6-month Instructional trip around the world with the cadets that are about to be received, and who will be the future Officers of the Navy. On board, they give their thesis in the art of navigation and other crafts of the sea and apply what they have learned during 4 years of study.
But the trip goes further and involves more than that. For during each voyage around the world, the ship acquires the status of “Traveling Ambassador”. For the Fragata ARA LIBERTAD is “LA ARGENTINA” in the seas of the world and wherever it moor.
And there, before thousands of foreign eyes, opens its doors to be visited and that the world knows our people, customs and culture.
And there are more activities, linked to technological development, scientific research, development and impulse to hydrovia, etc.
And everything described above is possible thanks to the professional, academic and human training received in its two training institutes. The Naval Military School (ESNM) and the School of Sub-Officers of the Navy (ESSA), which year after year incorporate young people from the 4 cardinal points of our country, citizens of the 24 Argentine provinces that after 5 or 2 years, graduate as Officers and / or NCOs, chiefs, graduates, technicians, leaders … .. Marines. Men of the sea with love for the country and vocation of service to the Nation.
In them, they print and forge the fundamental values for this profession as duty, patriotism, companionship, teamwork, courage, courage, temper, the ability to overcome and the moral and ethical values of a man of good.
And it is that the Institution is not only the sea. The Navy is thousands of Argentines from all over the country who for more than 200 years have embraced this profession that leads them to explore limits beyond the known.
The Navy is a crucible of Argentina, amalgamated by the sea under a single and honourable purpose that is the protection and preservation of the Argentine sovereignty in the Sea.
That is our Navy that today turns 204 years old. Facts and daily acts, anonymous actions of Argentines who left the security of the land to venture into the mysteries of the sea and eventually, offer life as a maximum tribute to the Homeland for the protection of our maritime sovereignty.
For all of them and those who every day from all positions operate and maintain the naval means to guard our sea, happy day of the Argentine Navy.
Source: El Litoral