Panama's navy (officially, the National Navy Ś Marina Nacional) was formed at approximately the same time as the air force (1964). Known at that time as the Department of Marine Operations (Departamento de Operaciones Marinas), it was a small organization involved primarily in coastal patrol operations under the direction of the G-3. In the late 1980s, the navy was equipped with two large rough-water patrol craft, two utility coastal patrol boats, about five small patrol and harbor craft, and three or four former United States Navy amphibious landing ships. The two large craft were the GC10 Panquiaco and the GC 1 1 Ligia Elena, both constructed by Vosper Thornycroft in Portsmouth, England, in 1970. Each measured about 30 meters in length and was armed with 2 20mm guns; the manning level called for 23 officers and enlisted men.
The two utility patrol craft each measured about 19 meters in length, mounted a pair of 12.7mm machineguns, and carried a complement of 10 people. The craft had been transferred to Panama from the United States Coast Guard in the mid-1960s. Two of the smaller coastal patrol craft were twelve-meter boats transferred to Panama from the United States Navy under the Military Assistance Program in the early 1960s. Each mounted a single 12.7mm machinegun and carried a crew of 4 enlisted personnel.
Because of the age and the limited capabilities of many of their naval craft, Panamanian officials sought to purchase more modern vessels that would allow the navy to defend the canal approaches and also enhance its coastal patrol capabilities. In the 1980s Panama took delivery of two swift ships, the MN GC-201 Comandante Torrijos and MN GC-202 Presidente Porras, which were constructed in the United States.
With this continued increase in the navy's vessels, there had been a concomitant expansion in personnel. In 1983 the navy moved to new headquarters at Fort Amador at the Pacific terminus of the canal. The commanding officer in the mid-1980s was a navy commander.
The Naval Group is responsible for indoctrinating, training, coordinating and supervising naval operations to fulfill the institutional mission. It is made up of the Maritime Patrol Unit, Maritime Transport Unit, Special Canisters Unit and the Naval Training Unit.
The A-401 Independencia Transport and Cargo Unit is out of service. It was used mainly as a support ship (logistic to the fleet), patrol and security with capacity of high navigation. The A-402 Gen. Huertas Transport Unit is used mainly as cargo ships, support (logistic to the fleet) with capacity of towing as it owns the capacity of disembarkation in the person beach, vehicle and heavy equipment. The type L transport units are mainly used as logistical support in transportation and cargo, search and rescue as well as in the security of our Territorial Sea and Contiguous Zone.
The Class 900 patrol craft built by Fincantieri Cantieri Navali in 2001 are of multiple uses. They have great versatility, given the availability on board a significant number of equipment, especially in navigation and telecommunications in the operations of height, therefore can perform various types of tasks as they are Assistance to ships in danger, search and rescue support for ships that are seriously compromised by fire on board. Evacuations of people from coastal areas, Patrol and surveillance, containment of oil spills in the sea of ??hydrocarbons, as they are equipped with Dispersed Spray Liquid, which is carried by two spraying "temples" equipped with nozzles, which extend through the rail. The two Vosper units were designed to meet the needs of the coast, with special attention to patrol, surveillance and rescue tasks with the ability to perform high altitude operations as well as provide any assistance to ships or boats in danger.
The Point Class patrol vessels are designed to meet the needs of the coast, with special attention to the patrol, surveillance and rescue tasks. Its special quality is the development of a high speed, even the capacity of an excellent maneuverability in high and low speed, with a good behavior to cruising speed of up to sea type 4, (Waves of up to 14 feet and winds of 40 knots This is a safe operating parameter. The 68' MK IV type patrol boat is designed to operate in inland and offshore waters under moderate and heavy sea conditions in patrol and safety operations. Generally, the craft can be safely maneuvered in waves of up to 14 feet and winds of 40 knots. This is a safe operating parameter. The short-range MK II type patrol is designed to operate in inland waters and coastal operations such as security, search and rescue, assault ship escort, under moderate sea conditions. Generally, the craft can safely be handled in waves of up to 10 feet and winds of 20 knots.
The Hunter-type boat was designed to sail at high speeds and can be safely maneuvered in waves of up to 14 feet and winds of 40 knots and to travel great distances, is a boat with benefits profiled totally to reach any type of boat fast , Employed in coastal patrols and support for medical evacuations as well as to counter illegal trafficking in drugs, arms and immigrants. The BIM maritime interdiction boat is designed to sail at high speeds [up to 50 knots] traveling great distances, is a boat with benefits fully profiled to reach any type of boat fast, has an advanced system of technology fully digital, the guard of technology in This globalized world. The Eduardo˝o type boat is designed to sail at high speeds over long distances, it is a boat with benefits fully profiled to reach any type of boat fast, used in coastal patrols and support to medical evacuations as well as to counter illegal traffic of Drugs, guns and immigrants. The Donzin boat is designed to sail at high speeds [up to 40 knots], used in coastal patrols and support for medical evacuations as well as to counter illegal trafficking in drugs, weapons and immigrants.
- Develop and establish a system that allows the correct use and adaptation of the naval means in order to fulfill the institutional mission in an effective and efficient way, adhering to national and international safety and quality standards.
- To coordinate the permanent or temporary assignment and / or make available to the Airborne Regions the Naval Units available to comply with naval operations in their area of ??competence, in coordination with the National Naval Maintenance Directorate.
- Elaborate a Training, Training and Training Plan for the human resource of the Naval Group.
- Qualify and certify the crew of the naval units, for the accomplishment of assigned missions and the development of the different on-board maneuvers.
- Carry out performance and professional development evaluations to the crews according to the operational need, in order to maintain the ships at the optimal level of presentation and operability to fulfill the institutional mission.
- Develop Naval Security manuals that comply with national and international laws, conventions, guidelines and requirements regarding the safety of crew members and ships.
- Coordinate, execute and supervise the training and training of the human resource of the Naval Group in conjunction with the National Teaching Directorate.
- Develop, disseminate and enforce the Naval Doctrine through organizational manuals, administrative and / or operational procedures, and preventive maintenance.
- Keep DINOA informed about all activities that are developed by the Naval Group to meet institutional objectives.
- Request the assignment of equipment and supplies for the proper and proper operation, operation and maintenance of the Maritime Patrol Units, Maritime Transport Units, Special Boat Units and each of their crew members.
- To formulate before the National Direction of Aircraft Operations the preliminary draft of budget that contemplates the requirement of necessary resources for the implementation of the Annual Operative Plan.
- Formalize before the National Directorate of Aircraft Operations the presentation of the Annual Operational Plan in order to make feasible the fulfillment of the goals contemplated in the Institutional Strategic Plan.
- Control the registration and policies of use of the fixed assets of the Naval Group.
- Other functions inherent to its competence assigned to it by the Head of the Naval Group.
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