The importance of the Naval Force’s presence in the interior of the country
The creation of the Brasilia Naval Command (CNB) in 1960 established the area of jurisdiction of the Brazilian Navy (MB) in the central region of the country. After changes in name and jurisdiction over the years, the CNB was abolished in 1997 and the 7th Naval District Command (Com7ºDN) was activated.
Currently, the Com7ºDN’s area of jurisdiction includes the Federal District and the states of Goiás and Tocantins, with eight subordinate Military Organizations (OM): Brasília Naval Hospital, Brasília Marine Group, the Brasília Training and Instruction Center, the Brasília River Captaincy, the Goiás River Captaincy, the Brasília Navy Radio Station, the Araguaia-Tocantins River Captaincy, as well as the recent Marine Intelligence Center Deployment Center in Brasília.
The Com7ºDN acts as the Regional Representative of the Maritime Authority, providing support to the Forces operating in its area of jurisdiction, as well as to the Military Organizations based in Brasilia, such as the Navy Command, the Navy General Staff, the Navy General Secretariat, among others. In order for the entire structure to be organized and fully functional, a good people management plan is necessary and, in September this year, Com7ºDN and HNBra received the Excellence in Management Award during the VIII Symposium on Management Practices, in recognition of the good practices carried out.
MB’s presence in the central region of the country was established on April 2, 1960, by Decree No. 47.955, shortly before the inauguration of Brazil’s new capital, when the sailors joined the pioneers in building a new future for the country. Operation Alvorada was carried out, a march made up of 120 sailors and marines who traveled 1,221 km from the city of Rio de Janeiro to Brasília, completing 24 days of marching, arriving on April 21, 1960, the day the capital was inaugurated.
When they arrived in Brasília, the commander of the march delivered a message from the then Minister of the Navy, Admiral Jorge do Paço Mattoso Maia, to the President of the Republic, Juscelino Kubitschek de Oliveira. In the message, the Minister expressed words of faith and hope for the new cycle that was beginning in the heart of Brazil.
On the occasion, then President Juscelino Kubitschek expressed the importance of Operation Alvorada, valuing the efforts of each military member who undertook the mission: “They could have gone in a transport plane, in trucks or by train, but if they did they wouldn’t have given so much prominence to the Navy’s participation in the inauguration of Brasília. This journey on foot was an expression of man’s integration with the land and, in a way, revived the exploits of the bandeirantes who explored the distant and mysterious west.”
The Com7ºDN contributes to the safety of navigation, the safeguarding of human life in inland waters and the prevention of water pollution by vessels. This work is carried out by the Captaincies which, in addition to implementing and monitoring compliance with laws and regulations in inland waters, coordinate and control naval inspection and search/rescue activities in the region.
The Fluvial Captaincy of Brasília has the 4th largest fleet, in total number of registrations, among the other Captaincies in the country. Comprising the entire Federal District and 46 municipalities in Goiás, the captaincy’s area of jurisdiction corresponds to 345,888 km² (GO = 340,086 km² and DF = 5,802 km²), slightly less than a country like Germany (356,733 km²).
The Goiás River Captaincy is the only Brazilian Navy military organization in the state and works with the nautical communities of 200 municipalities. One of its areas of operation is the São Simão Port Complex, an embarkation point for the Tietê-Paraná Waterway, the largest in the country, with a length of 2,400 kilometers.
The Araguaia-Tocantins River Captaincy is responsible for the inland waters of 139 municipalities in Tocantins and is the only MB Military Organization in the state. Like the others, the Captaincy promotes training courses for watermen, registers boats, licenses amateurs and also analyzes construction projects on inland waters and aquaculture projects.
The Captaincies cooperate in the preservation and national use of inland water resources by carrying out preventive and repressive actions through patrols, searches of vessels and even arrests in flagrante delicto. One of these actions is Operation Summer, the aim of which is to increase the safety of waterway traffic and contribute to safeguarding human life, especially during the vacation period, when boats and motorcycles are used more frequently, when, during the dry season, “beaches” appear on the rivers.
In Operation Summer, held in 2023, for example, 4,356 boats were inspected, 505 of which were notified and 168 seized for irregularities. The most recurrent infractions were: unqualified boat drivers; lack of mandatory documents and equipment, as well as the absence of visual identification and other hull markings and navigation lights.
The Captaincies have a Maritime Professional Education Division, where important courses are given to watermen and amateurs, spreading the maritime mentality in the heart of Brazil. One of them is the Special Course for Crew/Conduction of State Vessels in the Public Service, which aims to enable professionals to crew or drive small vessels up to eight meters in length, as well as training them to drive watercraft within the limits of inland navigation.
As it is located in the center of Brazil, the Com7ºDN is of strategic importance, mainly due to its proximity to the country’s political center. It is therefore essential to have a strategic force that is trained and capable of defending the integrity of the region. To this end, Com7ºDN has the Brasília Marines Group and the Navy Radio Station in Brasília as its operational reference.
The Brasília Marine Group carries out exercises and training in regions of the Federal District, Goiás and Tocantins. One of the activities carried out by the Group is the Special Technical Qualification Internship in Cerrado Operations, in which military personnel are trained to coordinate and carry out operations in the cerrado, as well as to promote the security and protection of authorities and facilities of interest to MB located in the area.
Among the various operations and exercises carried out, it is worth highlighting the Group’s participation in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the 2016 Olympics, Operation COVID-19, “Operation Green Brazil”, presidential inaugurations, “Operation FORMOSA” exercises, as well as naval inspections and riverine training.
Another strategic operational aspect carried out by Com7ºDN concerns communications between Navy OMs or other organizations of interest. This task is carried out by the Navy Radio Station in Brasilia (ERMB), by operating the networks and circuits of the Navy Communications System. The station is the Main Radio Station for the MB’s Fixed Service and operates the Inter-American Naval Telecommunications Network (RNIT), the Luso-Brazilian Network and the Navy’s Operational Network.
RNIT is a network made up of eighteen countries and aims to enable the exchange of communications between the Naval Commands of the Americas. ERMB has won the “Best RNIT Station” award 15 times, the most recent being in 2022. The award is aimed at collecting the highest score in exercises involving an assessment of punctuality and promptness in responding to messages with a deadline, as well as an analysis resulting from a visit by military personnel from the RNIT Secretariat. This achievement highlights the reach and reliability of the naval command and control system on the international stage, which also strengthens the Force’s deterrent capacity.
Com7ºDN also promotes the education and training of military personnel through the Brasília Training and Instruction Center (CIAB), where various special, expedited and extraordinary courses are taught. The courses taught include the training of:
- Marine Soldiers;
- Recruit sailors;
- Temporary Corporals and Temporary Sailors;
- Corporals in the Sergeant Qualification Internship; and
- Temporary Officers for Initial Military Service and Voluntary Military Service.
HEALTH AND SOCIAL CONTRIBUTION
The Brasília Naval Hospital provides care for 17,000 users of the Navy Health System in the Com7ºDN area. The Hospital won first place in the “Outstanding Audit Processes” award, promoted by the Navy Health Directorate. In the midst of the committed delivery of results, the hospital is undergoing a period of renovation and expansion in order to serve its public in a dignified and professional manner.
Com7ºDN is also making an effort to protect one of the organization’s most valuable assets: its personnel. Members of the crew, as well as civil society, can take advantage of the services and amenities offered by the organization in a wide variety of areas.
The Clube Naval de Brasília and the Clube Almirante Alexandrino are leisure facilities for military personnel and their families. The spaces offer social, recreational and sporting activities, as well as events on commemorative dates that bring the Naval Family together.
One of the actions promoted by Com7ºDN is the Forces in Sport Program (PROFESP), a social program that aims to provide positive references for young people through the practice of sports, civics and personal appreciation, with the aim of improving the quality of life of children and young people in situations of social vulnerability.
The Regional Department of the Seaman’s Shelter in Brasilia seeks to provide quality of life through social projects and other benefits. One of the segments of the Sailor’s Shelter is the work of the White Swan Volunteers (VCB), represented in the Com7ºDN area by the Brasília Sectional Directorate. The VCB promotes charitable activities on behalf of the Naval Family, such as events on commemorative dates and social actions.
The Com7ºDN contributes on a daily basis to carrying out important activities in the heart of Brazil. The military personnel and civil servants who serve in the OM are a fundamental part of an environment that preaches a culture of respect, the pursuit of excellence and a sense of belonging, essential pillars for creating an atmosphere that allows the mission to be accomplished, which is in line with the motto of this Force Command: Septimus primus est, which means “Seventh is first”.
Agência Marinha de Notícias *** Translated by DEFCONPress FYI Team ***