Argentine Naval Prefecture
Prefectura Naval Argentina
Prefectura Arg logo.svg
Emblem of the Prefecture.
AbbreviationPNA
MottoRobur et quies iuxta litora et in undis
Valour and safety in coasts and waters
Agency overview
FormedJune 1810
Jurisdictional structure
Federal agency
(Operations jurisdiction)
Argentina
Operations jurisdictionArgentina
Legal jurisdictionAs per operations jurisdiction
General nature
Specialist jurisdiction
  • Coastal patrol, marine border protection, marine search and rescue.
Operational structure
HeadquartersAve. E. Madero 235, Buenos Aires
Elected officer responsible
Agency executives
  • Prefect General Eduardo Scarzello, National Prefect
  • Prefect General Hugo Ilacqua, National Subprefect
Parent agencyMinistry of Security
Zones
10
Facilities
Helicopters7
Planes10
Website
argentina.gob.ar/prefecturanaval
Phone: 54 11 4318 7400
March: March of the Naval Prefecture

The Argentine Naval Prefecture (Spanish: Prefectura Naval Argentina or PNA) is a service of Argentina's Security Ministry charged with protecting the country's rivers and maritime territory. It therefore fulfills the functions of other countries' coast guards, and furthermore acts as a gendarmerie force policing navigable rivers.

According to the Argentine Constitution, the Armed Forces of the Argentine Republic cannot intervene in internal civil conflicts, so the Prefecture is defined as a civilian "security force of a military nature". It maintains a functional relationship with the Ministry of Defense, as part of both the National Defense System and the Interior Security System. It therefore maintains capabilities arising from the demands required by joint military planning with the armed forces.

The PNA is a large organization for a coastguard. With a strength of 45,750 sworn members, the PNA is a larger organization than most national navies, and is in fact slightly larger than the Argentine Navy – the organization upon which it had been attached for a long time until the 1980s, when it was transferred to direct control of the Ministry of Defense.

History

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Creation

The Prefecture's predecessor is the ports service founded by the first autonomous Argentine government in June 1810, six years before Argentina declared independence. In Argentina this is considered the official founding date of the PNA. The first commander of the force was Colonel Martín Jacobo Thompson, a Porteño of partially English descent who had served against the British in the invasions of 1806–7. Thompson was given the title of "Captain of Ports" ("Capitán de Puertos").

Although the PNA traces itself back to its predecessor of 1806, the modern Prefecture was in fact founded in the late nineteenth century as the "National Maritime Prefecture" on the initiative of Manuel Florencio Mantilla, a well-known Argentine senator who was also a respected academic and intellectual. The law pertaining to it was enacted in October 1896.

Falklands War

The Prefecture had a minor role in the Falklands War (Spanish: Guerra de las Malvinas). As with other Argentine military services, participation in this conflict is given considerable weight in the institutional memory of the service.

Two PNA patrol vessels, Islas Malvinas (GC-82) and Rio Iguazu (GC-83), were sent to provide an Argentine coastguard service to the islands. According to Argentine sources, Rio Iguazu came into contact with a British Sea Harrier aircraft on 21 May and one member of the vessel's crew was killed while firing a 12.7 mm machine gun at the British jet. The ship ran aground, but most of its cargo -among them two 105 mm howitzers- was recovered later.

The crew of the patrol boat claimed the shooting down of the aircraft, but this was later proved to be unfounded. The sortie was actually carried out by two Sea Harriers of 800 Naval Air Squadron, Nº XZ460 and XZ499, which strafed the vessel with 30 mm cannon fire.[1] The patrol vessel Islas Malvinas was captured and operated by the Royal Navy, as HMS Tiger Bay.

Illegal fishing

The Prefecture is constantly battling illegal fishing vessels in the Argentine exclusive economic zone (EEZ),[2] mostly from eastern countries. The Argentine Naval Aviation also collaborates in detection of such ships with their CASA 212 S68 and Beechcraft 350ER' maritime surveillance aircraft.[citation needed]

Chian-der 3 incident

See also: Sinking of Chian-der 3

The sinking of Chian-der 3 was an incident which occurred on 28 May 1986 when the Taiwanese flag naval trawler Chian-der 3 was detected, tracked, shot, set on fire and finally sunk by the PNA. The sinking was carried out by PNA vessel Prefecto Derbes. Two Taiwanese fishermen were killed; four others were injured. The Taiwanese fishermen's union called the incident a "barbaric act" and the British government condemned it as "unjustifiable and excessive".[3]

Organization

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Headquarters

Guardacostas Building
Guardacostas Building

The PNA is subordinate to the Ministry of Security. The organization is headed by the National Naval Prefect (Prefecto Nacional Naval), currently Prefect-General Carlos Edgardo Fernandez, assisted by the Deputy National Naval Prefect (Subprefecto Nacional Naval), currently Prefect-General Ricardo Rodriguez.

The Prefecture's main facility is located in the Edificio Guardacostas (which translates as "the Coastguard Building") at 235 E. Madero Avenue, Buenos Aires.

The PNA headquarters is divided into three main departments, each headed by a Director-General with the rank of Prefecto General. These are each divided into a number of directorates, each headed by a Director with the rank of Prefect-General (Prefecto General).

A Zodiac 920 class at Tigre
A Zodiac 920 class at Tigre

The Intelligence Service (Servicio de Inteligencia) is directly responsible to the National Naval Prefect and is also headed by a Prefect-General.

GC67 in Ushuaia
GC67 in Ushuaia

Regions

The PNA is divided into ten zones:

Ranks

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The highest rank of the service, Prefect-General, is held by both the National Naval Prefect and Deputy National Naval Prefect, as well as by many of the most senior officers of the prefecture, such as the heads of the different directorates of the national headquarters. While the rank itself equals that of Rear Admiral in the Argentine Navy, the National Naval Prefect and the Deputy National Naval Prefect titles are both equated to the ranks of Admiral and Vice Admiral, respectively, and wear corresponding insignia.

Officer ranks are as follows:

Rank group General/flag officers Field/senior officers Junior officers Officer cadet
Argentine Naval Prefecture
Blank.svg
Blank.svg
Blank.svg
Argentine Naval Prefecture OF-5 - Prefecto Mayor.gif
Argentine Naval Prefecture OF-4 - Prefecto Principal.gif
Argentine Naval Prefecture OF-3 - Prefecto.gif
Argentine Naval Prefecture OF-2 - Subprefecto.gif
Argentine Naval Prefecture OF-1b - Oficial Principal.gif
Argentine Naval Prefecture OF-1a - Oficial Auxiliar.gif
Argentine Naval Prefecture OF-D - Oficial Ayudante.gif
Prefecto General
(Prefecto Nacional Naval)
Prefecto General
(Subprefecto Nacional Naval)
Prefecto General Prefecto Mayor Prefecto Principal Prefecto Subprefecto Oficial Principal Oficial Auxiliar Oficial Ayudante
Equivalent U.S. Coast Guard Rank Vice-Admiral Rear admiral Rear admiral (lower half) Captain Commander Lieutenant Commander Lieutenant Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Ensign No equivalent

The non-commissioned officer and enlisted ranks of the Prefecture are as follows:

Rank group Senior NCOs Junior NCOs Enlisted
Argentine Naval Prefecture
Argentine Naval Prefecture OR-9 - Ayudante Mayor.gif
Argentine Naval Prefecture OR-8 - Ayudante principal.gif
Argentina Naval Prefecture OR-7.svg
Argentina Naval Prefecture OR-6.svg
Argentina Naval Prefecture OR-5.svg
Argentina Naval Prefecture OR-4.svg
Argentina Naval Prefecture OR-3.svg
Argentina Naval Prefecture OR-1.svg

Ayudante mayor Ayudante principal Ayudante de primero Ayudante de segundo Ayudante de tercera Cabo primero Cabo segundo Marinero
Equivalent U.S. Coast Guard Rank Master Chief Petty Officer Senior Chief Petty Officer Chief Petty Officer Petty Officer First Class Petty Officer Second Class Petty Officer Third Class Seaman Seaman Apprentice

Inventory

GC-26 at Mar del Plata.
GC-26 at Mar del Plata.
PNA Delfín
PNA Delfín
GC168 in Villa la Angostura
GC-195 Guaraní, Paraná River 2018
GC-195 Guaraní, Paraná River 2018

Main ships

Patrol vessels

The Argentine Naval Prefecture use the following ships for patrol purposes.[4]

At least other 50 vessels on the 8–15-ton range.

Other vessels

Aircraft

A Eurocopter AS365
CASA 212 Aviocar
CASA 212 Aviocar
Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Transport
CASA C-212 Spain maritime patrol 5[10]
Piper PA-28 United States utility 2[10]
Beechcraft King Air United States transport 350 1[10]
Helicopters
Schweizer 300 United States patrol 7[11]
Eurocopter AS355 France utility 2[11]
Eurocopter AS365 France SAR 365 N2 4[11]
Eurocopter EC225 France SAR / transport EC225LP 2[12]

Former aircraft

Previous aircraft operated by the Coast Guard were the Aérospatiale Puma, Hughes 369, Bell 47J, and the Sikorsky H-5.[11]

Firearms

Model Origin Type Caliber Notes
Beretta 92  Italy pistol 9×19mm Service pistol[13]
Bersa TPR9  Argentina pistol 9×19mm [14]
Heckler & Koch MP5  Germany submachine gun 9×19mm
FN FAL  Argentina battle rifle 7.62×51mm Service rifle
SIG SG550   Switzerland assault rifle 5.56×45mm Used by Grupo Albatros
IWI X95  Israel assault rifle 5.56×45mm Used by Grupo Albatros
FN MAG  Belgium machine gun 7.62×51mm
Benelli M3  Italy shotgun 12 gauge
Franchi SPAS-15  Italy shotgun 12 gauge Used by Grupo Albatros
SIG Sauer SSG 3000   Switzerland sniper rifle 7.62×51mm Used by Grupo Albatros

See also

References

  1. ^ Pook, Jerry: RAF Harrier Ground Attack – MALVINAS. Pen & Sword, 2006, page 69.
  2. ^ "Capturaron un buque coreano pescando illegalmente en aguas argentinas". Clarín (in Spanish). 28 April 2010. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  3. ^ "Argentina culpa al capitán del pesquero taiwanés y a Londres por el suceso del Atlántico". El País (in Spanish). 31 May 1986. Retrieved 24 September 2016.
  4. ^ "Latin American Military - Argentina - Prefectura Naval Argentina (PNA) - Patrol Ships". LAMilitary.org. Archived from the original on 4 May 2010. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  5. ^ "History and archeology í to Maritime". histarmar.com. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  6. ^ "Embarcaciones de la Prefectura Naval MOV-01 GC "Dr Bernardo Houssay"". Historia y Arqueología Marítima. Retrieved 19 February 2022.
  7. ^ "Prefectura's SB-15 "TANGO" salvage cutter sails through Antarctica waters". Buenos Aires: Prefectura Naval Argentina. 28 January 2013. Archived from the original on 2 November 2013. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  8. ^ "Discurso de la Ministra Nilda Garré" (in Spanish). Buenos Aires: Prefectura Naval Argentina. 29 June 2012. Archived from the original on 2 November 2013. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  9. ^ "Ponton Recalada" (PDF). Entre Tracas y Cuadernas (in Spanish). Buenos Aires: Instituto Nacional Browniano (77): 18–19. March–April 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2013.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ a b c "1 Coast Guard fleet". aeroflight.co.uk. 2019. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  11. ^ a b c d "Prefectura Naval Argentina". www.helis.com. 2019. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  12. ^ "The Argentine Coast Guard receives its first H225". airbushelicopters.com. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  13. ^ "La Prefectura Naval Argentina adquiere pistolas y vehículos - Noticias Infodefensa América". 25 October 2014.
  14. ^ "Bersa proveerá a la Prefectura Naval Argentina de 632 pistolas 9 mm - Noticias Infodefensa América". 8 February 2020.