Alright, I owe Scoot a lot of credit. His travel blogging was well done, interesting and a darn good read! I don’ t believe I can match him, however, I think I will at least give some insight into my present “trip”, or as Citizen Une calls it, Navy Vacation.
It is hardly vacation, I am presently deployed in support of multi-national exercise UNITAS 2006. A largely South American driven (Brazil was the progenitor) event involving land, naval and air forces from a variety of nations.
Now you may wonder, what type of naval forces might one find among South American nations. The answer is, darn fine ones. They typically follow in the tradition of European navies, with similar rank structure and a preference for their types of vessels. The Chilean navy boasts some very capable surface combatants and a range of diesel submarines which typically worry the USA to no end (when they are operated by our enemies – which Chile is not).
Chile is a nation of immigrants and indigent people, although more of the former and less of the latter when compared to many other South American nations. It is a proud and capable nation. They are superior farmers and have a robust and efficient road network within their VERY long nation. I have been impressed by their commitment to excellence among their naval officers and the general sophistication of their cities.
It’s winter here and has the feel of the area around Catalina, California. The sky is alternatingly deep blue or brooding grey with beard like clouds slipping around the mountains. The food is superb and the economy thriving, so much so that they are also experiencing their own immigration problem.