June 23, 2021 (Google Translation) – This midday the arrival ceremony in the country of the new multipurpose ocean patrol boat ARA “Piedrabuena” (P-52) was held, which will join the Maritime Patrol Division of the Argentine Navy. It was chaired by the Minister of Defense, Agustín Rossi, accompanied by the Chief of the General Staff of the Navy, Vice Admiral Julio Horacio Guardia.
The Chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Armed Forces, Major General Juan Martín Paleo; the chiefs of the Army and Air Force Staff, Major General Agustín Cejas and Brigadier Major VGM Xavier Isaac; the Commander of Training and Enlistment of the Navy, Rear Admiral Juan Carlos Daniel Abbondanza and the Secretary General of the Navy Diego Eduardo Suárez del Solar, among other civil and military authorities.
Prior to entering the dock of the Mar del Plata Naval Base (BNMP), Minister Rossi and the military authorities boarded the ocean patrol boat ARA “Bouchard” from where they witnessed a welcome naval magazine whose training was composed of the newcomer “ Piedrabuena ”, accompanied by the corvette ARA“ Granville ”and the frigate ARA“ Libertad ”.
Immediately afterwards, the “Bouchard” took port to act as an observation platform for the entry maneuver that, for the first time, the “Piedrabuena” made to its natural station on Argentine soil. For this, the Mayor of General Pueyrredón, Guillermo Montenegro, and other civil and military authorities also embarked.
After more than twenty days of navigation, the new Navy patrol boat was received with honors by the BNMP Music Band, special guests, Veterans of Malvinas former crew members of the destroyer ARA “Piedrabuena” and family members of the crew.
After the greeting of Minister Rossi to all those present and singing the verses of the National Anthem, the reading of the order of incorporation of the ship to the Maritime Patrol Division of the Navy was carried out. Next, the Malvinas War Veterans Association and former crew members of the destroyer ARA “Piedrabuena” presented the War Flag to the commander of the new patrol boat, Frigate Captain Gastón Vega, who was blessed with a religious invocation by the parish priest military Luis María Berthoud.
With the entire crew formed and after thanking those who made this acquisition possible, Vice Admiral Guardia addressed all those present, highlighting that “this unit, together with the patrol vessel ´Storni´ and ´Cordero´ that will arrive in the coming months, make up the first project for the incorporation of new units in the last 40 years since the construction of the MEKO 140 ”corvettes.
“The arrival of ‘Piedrabuena’ is a sign of the progress of the projects we have undertaken. We trust that the instruments that have been put in place, among which the National Defense Fund (FONDEF) stands out, will allow this to be another milestone in the process of updating and modernizing the nation’s naval facilities ”, continuous.
Then, addressing Captain Vega, he said: “I congratulate you for having accomplished the mission of bringing the ship to its natural location. It has been a deployment of more than four months for their training, including tests at sea and a journey of more than twenty days to here […] the history of those who preceded them in their commitment to the Nation shows them what are the demands of our Service with the Country ”.
To conclude, Minister Rossi addressed all those present, remarking “the possibility of incorporation of the ARA ‘Piedrabuena’ is a cause of great joy for the Argentine Navy, for the Armed Forces, for the Ministry of Defense and for the Argentine Nation. , which comes to strengthen the capabilities of the Navy in all that its tasks of surveillance and control of our extensive maritime coastline mean, guaranteeing our presence in the 200 miles, of which so much has been said in recent times ”.
“This is a decision to incorporate four patrol cars that was made in the previous management and that we continue with the commitment assumed, paying almost the entirety during our management […] I want to highlight the economic efforts made by the Argentine State, in this opportunity with an investment of almost 5,000 million pesos during this year that we will emanate from FONDEF, making use of these resources that the Armed Forces have for the first time in Argentine history for their re-equipment ”.
“I have to acknowledge the military personnel at this time, because beyond all the directives issued by the President, we have perceived a strong commitment from the Armed Forces, which comes from within, from conviction and conviction and not only of obedience, to carry out all the subsidiary tasks that were entrusted to him. But that does not make us forget our main mission, which is to carry out a defense policy for our country. A reactive, cooperative policy (with the countries of the world, but particularly with those of the region); autonomous and dissuasive. For this it is necessary to promote, as we are doing, a re-equipment process ”, explained Rossi.
To conclude, the Minister addressed the crew saying: “We are happy to receive you. Congratulations on the task of these months because the fact that we are living here today is really very important. My appreciation also goes to the families who are waiting for their reunion after so long at a distance, at such a difficult time for everyone, where affection is so important. I want to end with my tribute and recognition to each of the 44 diving comrades of the ARA ´San Juan´ and my recognition and accompaniment to the 44 families ”.