Argentine Defense Minister Jorge Taiana announced the creation of the Joint Maritime Command, which will be in charge of the permanent patrolling and monitoring of the Argentine sea.
In an unprecedented move with strategic connotations, Argentina's three armed forces will be engaged jointly in the continuous patrolling of waters subject to the country's economic sovereignty.
The Joint Maritime Command (CCM) has been created by Ministry of Defense Resolution 244-2021 for the surveillance and control of the maritime and river areas of national jurisdiction, including the territorial sea, the exclusive economic zone and also the waters corresponding to the new delimitation of the continental shelf in force since 2016.
The Navy controlling the sea unilaterally without control and supervision of the Joint Chiefs of Staff collided with the current military doctrine, an Army source quoted by Infobae said.
The CCM's first chief is Navy Commodore Norberto Pablo Varela, who has already served at the mar del Plata-based Maritime Patrol Division. The CCM is always to be headed by a Navy officer who will nonetheless not report to the Navy's Chief of Staff, but to the Joint Operational Commander, currently Army General Deimundo Escobal.
The Argentine Navy also made it clear everything related to search and rescue operations at sea (SAR) will remain outside the CCM's jurisdiction, since by law SAR is primarily up to the Navy and -to a lesser extent- to the Coast Guard, whose involvement as per the new rules in matters of control illegal fishing has not been specified.
The creation of this command raised some doubts related to the legality of the use of the joint military resource to, among other things, control poaching within the ZEEA (Argentine Exclusive Economic Zone). However, Navy sources maintain that the National Defense Law (23,554) includes the control of continental maritime spaces.
In addition to the substantial contribution of personnel and resources from the Navy to the CCM, the Argentine Air Force will join the air patrol and the Army will provide support through communications and logistics.
The CCM will be based on the 12th floor of the Libertad building (headquarters of the Argentine Navy) in Buenos Aires.