The ARC Calima ship was built in 1979 at the Bayou Le Batre shipyards in the city of Mobile, Alabama, in the southeastern United States, under the name “Northern Edge”. It was originally intended as a fishing vessel, however, after two years, it was found in the Colombian Pacific, engaged in drug trafficking activities. It was boarded, confiscated, and handed over to the Colombian National Navy, which carried out maintenance and improvement works to enable its service to the country. These modifications aimed to enhance patrol capability, crew welfare, personnel transport, and protection of areas of interest.

The vessel played a key role in the construction of the Naval Base Project of the Pacific in the Bay of Málaga, Valle del Cauca department, located 18 kilometers northwest of Buenaventura in a straight line, where it served as transportation for materials and workers for this important project.

During its service period, it is worth noting its environmental and social services, transporting goods, food, and medicines to coastal communities. On the other hand, it seized multiple animal species that were illegally captured and returned them to their natural environment aboard the ARC Calima, as well as conducted fishing controls in the Pacific Ocean.

One of the most significant events of the ship was under the command of Lieutenant Frigate Daniela Peláez Panesso, who was one of the first women to command a ship within the national navy. She stood out for her participation since 2020 in Operation Centinela, which is a “military operation designed to guarantee the free navigation of vessels, cargo transportation, passenger transport, fishing, and cabotage among the different communities of the Colombian Pacific coast and thus guarantee the supply of food, medicine, and fuel to its populations.”

During 2022, it participated in Operation “Odín” in Juanchaco Buenaventura, one of the few amphibious assault exercises carried out in the country, which sought to reinforce the capabilities of the Marine Corps, deployed in support of the other participating ships: ARC “Valle del Cauca”, ARC “Punta Soldado”, ARC “Punta Ardita”, ARC “TN José María Palas”, ARC “CN Rafael del Castillo y Rada”, ARC “TECIM Jaime Cárdenas”, ARC “Bahía Solano”, and ARC “Bahía Málaga”. It is worth noting that the Colombian Marine Corps is numerically the largest in Hispano-America but lacks armored or amphibious landing means, being more a force for river protection for Colombian rivers.

After all these years of service at the Bahía Málaga base in the Valle del Cauca department, on February 21, 2024, with the presence of the Commander of the Pacific Naval Force, Rear Admiral Rafael Aranguren Devia, the deactivation and decommissioning of the ARC Calima ship took place. It was integrated into the Navy as a “Logistics Support Unit”, although it actually served as a coastal patrol vessel during its 42 years of service and 365,000 nautical miles of navigation.

The ceremony was conducted with the reading of the resolution by which the Navy Command deactivated this unit, the final lowering of the Command Pennant, the lowering of the Bow Jack, and the rendering of whistle honors, followed by 21 cannon salutes, concluding with the folding and delivery of the flag to the Commander of the Pacific Naval Force.

*Photographs courtesy of the Colombian National Navy.

You may also like: The U.S. IFV proposal for the Argentine Army also includes different versions of the 8×8 Stryker armored vehicle


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.