Top Chilean Brass visit Portsmouth

The Royal Navy has hosted the Head of the Chilean Navy and the Chilean Ambassador, for a week of events celebrating 200 years of the Chilean Navy.

The visit culminated at Her Majesty’s Naval Base Portsmouth with the renaming of Lancelot Building, the Headquarters of Commander Portsmouth Flotilla, after Admiral Thomas Cochrane who led the Chilean Navy to victory during the Chilean War of Independence.

Commodore Craig Wood, whose headquarters are being renamed said: “We are really pleased to rename the Headquarters of Commander Portsmouth Flotilla after Admiral Thomas Cochrane, whose skill and courage serves as an outstanding role model for any Navy Officer.

“Moreover, this will serve as a lasting reminder of the strong bond we have with the Chilean Navy and we are so grateful to have Admiral Julio Leiva Molina head of the Chilean Navy here in HM Naval Base Portsmouth for the ceremony.”

This will serve as a lasting reminder of the strong bond we have with the Chilean Navy and we are so grateful to have Admiral Julio Leiva Molina head of the Chilean Navy

Commodore Craig Wood

Admiral Leiva, Commander-in-Chief of the Chilean Navy and David Gallagher Patrickson, Chilean Ambassador to the UK were greeted on the day by the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines HMS Collingwood who performed in style with Adm Leiva taking the salute at the end of their display.

The First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Philip Jones then gave an address in which he said: “As we look to further our future bi-lateral relationship with Chile, it’s a great pleasure to think that the name Cochrane is to be prominent here once more.

“It’s entirely fitting that it be associated with the Headquarters of Commander Portsmouth Flotilla – whose role is to prepare the incredibly diverse array of ships based here in Portsmouth, so they are ready for the full spectrum of operations they may be called upon to perform anywhere in the world. 

“For years to come, this building will provide a lasting tribute to one of our Navy’s truly great Admirals, and a constant reminder of the value we gain from our close partnership with the Chilean Navy.”

The enduring legacy of Royal and Chilean Navy co-operation will be further developed through the addition of a new award. The Cochrane Sword a reciprocal prize will be presented annually to the number one Phase 1 officer cadet in each navy.