US-Argentine search and rescue exercisesArgentine Navy and Air Force units participated this week with the United States Air Force in search and rescue exercises involving raft survivors from a commercial aircraft supposedly lost in the sea close to the Mar del Plata area of influence.
The joint exercise included air and sea monitoring, tide and current surveying and checking other meteorological conditions while aircrafts and Navy units searched for the raft that was finally found fifty miles off Mar del Plata.
US and Argentine Air Force Hercules then moved into action dropping a "sea line", which is an inflatable raft specially conditioned with first aid kits, food and communications equipment.
Special forces trained for jumping with parachutes in the sea followed, helping survivors to transfer to the better conditioned raft, and finally tactical divers.
Argentine Navy corvette "Drummond" was responsible for transporting survivors and saviours back to Mar del Plata.
Argentine Navy participated with P3B Orion patrol aircrafts; the Air Force with Bell 212 helicopters and Hercules C 130, while the Americans joined with another Hercules C 130 and their own team of special sea-paras and divers. New corvette
Next Monday the Argentine Navy will incorporate its fifth Meko 140 corvette, an antisubmarine and patrol unit armed with Oto Melara guns, Exocet missiles, torpedoes and a helicopter.
The 91 meters long diesel powered vessel is named "ARA Carlos Robinson", honouring a lieutenant from the nascent Argentine Navy who in 1814 died combating to capture Montevideo and Colonia, putting an end to Spanish dominance of the River Plate.
Robinson fought under the orders of Irish born Charles Brown considered the founder and first Admiral of the Argentine Navy.
President Fernando De la Rúa will head the official ceremony to take place in Río Santiago shipyard, ARS.
The Meko-140 program with German assistance was begun in 1978 and the first unit, "Espora" was delivered in 1985; in 1986 "Rosales"; 1987, "Spiro" and in 1990, "Parker". The program was temporarily cancelled in 1989 because of lack of funds and again started in 1997.
Next year ARS is expected to deliver the sixth and last of the s