The Canadian Defence Attaché Office in Santiago promotes and strengthens an ever-growing relationship between Canadian and Chilean Defence Institutions. The defence ministries and all three major services (navy, army, and air force) conduct regular bi-lateral talks to coordinate a fulsome list of tangible activities that have facilitated amplified cooperation, trust, and interaction. Typifying the robust relationship is Canada’s support and staffing to Chile’s first ever major command role in the Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) in Hawaiian waters in July of 2018.
Specific areas of Canada/ Chile defence cooperation:
- A bilateral Defence Cooperation Agreement was signed in 2012 and provides strategic direction to enable and facilitate the growing defence relationship. A Defence Materiel Cooperation Addendum to the Agreement is under negotiation.
- Defence Policy Talks - Canada hosted the last round of defence policy talks in Ottawa on November 1, 2017. Among the new initiatives discussed was the cooperative effort to provide a navigation instructor to the Caribbean Maritime Training Centre in Jamaica.
- Military Training and Cooperation Program (MTCP) – Canada’s MTCP provides courses in language, professional development, and peace support operations to approximately 1,200 military personnel from more than 62 member states annually. Chile has been a member of the program since 1998 and has filled 33 positions between 2014 and 2018.
- Naval Cooperation – The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) and the Chilean Navy maintain a robust connection through high-level talks, combined training exercises, and unique exchanges. RCN officers regularly embark in Chilean ships to enhance their training as part of the RCN’s REGULUS Programme while Canada benefited from the services of a Chilean supply vessel in support of replenishment training in Canadian waters. The two navies have a long history of cooperation during the biannual RIMPAC exercise (largest naval exercise in the world), while the 2018 version saw Chile assume a large command role with Canadian staff in support. Having selected a Canadian command and control system as the lead component in the modernization of Chilean Type 23 frigates, the two navies will be drawn together like never before as they will train and operate on a common software platform.
- Army Cooperation – March of 2017 marked the occasion of the first Army to Army bilateral Staff Talks. Codifying existing exchanges and interactions, the Talks also explored future areas of cooperation specifically regarding team and individual skills training.
- Air Force Cooperation -- the Royal Canadian Air Force and Chilean Air Force conduct biannual Staff Talks to organize bilateral interactions including search and rescue training, Twin Otter crew exchanges, exercise participation and information exchanges.
- Chile’s Joint Centre for Peacekeeping Operations (CECOPAC) makes use of Canadian peacekeeping experiences as educational examples and occasionally incorporates a Canadian Armed Forces member as an instructor. In 2017 Canada conducted a multinational peacekeeping course at CECOPAC as part of its MTCP activity.
- Canada’s Defence Industry is increasingly involved in the Chilean Defence sector particularly in the areas of ship design, modernization of frigates and aircraft, engine overhaul, and high-tech gear.
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