From March 2017 until October 2018, the Chilean Navy will be carrying out various activities to commemorate its 200 years of life. During the celebration of the Bicentennial the strategic vision and historical legacies will be presented, in the naval and maritime fields, with which the Institution has contributed to the consolidation of the national territory and development of the country, among which is the sustained effort in establishing an integrated maritime policy based on national interests; and, on the other hand, the future challenge to which the Institution is available to contribute in the creation of a National Oceanic Policy under the responsibility of the Council of Ministers (Foreign Affairs, Defense, Economy and Environment).
The first activity of the Bicentennial
With the presence of the President of the Republic, Michelle Bachelet, the Minister of National Defense, José Antonio Gómez, and the Commander in Chief of the Navy, Enrique Larrañaga, the ceremony that took place in Valparaíso took place on board the AP-41 Transport “Aquiles” recalls the first naval action of the Chilean Navy and corresponds to an episode in the history of Chile known as the Liberation of the Patriots of Juan Fernandez.
On the occasion, the President of the Republic stated that “it is a great honor to participate in a ceremony that begins the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Chilean Navy, to be on board the” Aquiles “, on the day when the Exactly 200 years since the departure of the brig “Águila” has a deep meaning, we are witnessing an anniversary that tells us about the importance that the Navy has had in the history of Chile, but it shows us above all, how the institutions that plunge its roots in the birth of the Republic are deeply imbricated of what was the deed of the Liberator. ”
Regarding the role and importance of the Navy for the country, the Minister of Defense indicated that “one of the tasks that we have always wanted to relieve is the presence of the Armed Forces, and the Navy in particular in each of our misfortunes that we have lived in these times, a series of tragedies in which the Armed Forces, particularly this institution is present in each of them and thus recognizes the value that each of the Navy officials has, to protect, accompany our compatriots in disasters. ”
Meanwhile, the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, commented that it is “a pride to have the opportunity to highlight a task, a transcendent task that the Navy has done for 200 years at the service of the country.” The Navy does not have a date specific foundational, but it was created to the extent of the needs, and for that reason then there are facts that occurred in the years 1817 and 1818, which we are going to replicate and commemorate in this year and a half of activities to honor the Marine”.
He also announced that the corresponding decree for the construction of an icebreaker has been authorized and signed. “An Antarctic ship that we are going to start with the details engineering, which is the stage that comes next, and the cutting of the first iron would do it in May of this year, so as to count in four more years with an Antarctic ship modern that can replace the “Viel”, which is reaching the limit of its useful life, in the understanding that the State of Chile wants to remain present in Antarctica, “he said.
Once the activity was over, the ship set sail for Juan Fernández, where on March 19, a ceremony will be held and a monolith will be installed in homage to the Chileans exiled in this place.
The celebrations of the 200 years of the Navy, will last for 24 months, ending in October 2018 with the Naval Magazine, given that there is no date established by decree and the Institution was born gradually with different milestones that led to finally the Chilean Navy will be created.
200 years ago
On February 26, 1817, the Spanish brig “Águila” was presented in Valparaíso, which was captured by the port authorities under the orders of Bernardo O’Higgins, thus becoming the first warship that had the Navy of Chile.
To this, they installed 16 guns, while its crew was made up of 43 men, of which 25 were foreigners, especially English, and 18 Chilean soldiers.
The first commission of the “Eagle” began on March 17, 1817 when he sailed from Valparaiso to release 78 illustrious citizens , who had suffered two years of exile in Juan Fernandez for having had some participation in the movements of the Old Homeland.