The Brazilian Navy will coordinate, between Saturday (10) and the 22nd, the 63rd edition of Operation Unitas, the oldest multinational maritime exercise organized by the United States. The headquarters and the coordination of the works work in a rotation system between the countries of the Americas. The last time Brazil was in the coordination was in 2019. The opening of the operation took place today (8) in the Auditorium of the Almirante Marquês de Leão Dressage Center, on Ilha do Mocanguê, in Niterói, metropolitan region of Rio.
In addition to Brazil, the operation will have the participation of ships, a submarine and troops from Marines and Special Operations from navies from 19 countries: United States, Belize, Cameroon, Colombia, Chile, South Korea, Ecuador, Spain, France , Guyana, Jamaica, Mexico, Namibia, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, United Kingdom, Dominican Republic and Uruguay.
The commander of the Fleet’s First Division, Rear Admiral Marcelo Menezes Cardoso, highlighted that this edition has representatives from all continents.
“This is the first time that African ships have crossed the Atlantic and come to participate in an exercise on the coast. I think that’s a remarkable fact,” she revealed.
The operation will have two phases. The maritime will include surface, anti-submarine and anti-aircraft exercises, electronic warfare and maritime interdiction operations, a stage of exercises specifically linked to maritime security; and with an amphibious final stage, which includes a simulation of civilian rescue, through an amphibious incursion on Itaóca Beach-ES, involving the movement of a Multinational Amphibious Element and the use of Amphibious Assault Vehicles and Landing Vessels (Landing Craft Utility – LCU).
In the port phase, according to the Navy, “workshops for the Marine Corps and Special Operations troops will be held, in addition to activities that will allow cultural exchanges, sporting events and relationship projects with the civilian public”.
Altogether, the 63rd edition will mobilize 12 Brazilian and 8 foreign ships, fixed and rotary wing aircraft, in addition to ground support, totaling around 5.5 military personnel. The intention of holding Unitas is to increase actions between countries through naval, air and marine operations, and to strengthen ties of cooperation and friendship between the participating navies.
US Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro celebrated the bicentennial of Brazil‘s independence, celebrated yesterday (7), and said that his country is very proud to have been the first in the world to recognize Brazilian independence. “We remember the important role that this nation plays in the historic past. In fact, the presence of the United States Navy [na Operação Unitas] comes from several sources, as Brazil was the official host during the Second World War. It is a privilege to participate in Unitas,” he said.
Rear Admiral Cardoso commented that a novelty in this edition is the modern equipment brought by the US Navy, among them, the destroyer USS Lassen (DDG-82).
“The designation of these modern American means, first of all as a sign of prestige for Unitas, shows the importance that the US Navy attaches to this operation and how much these modern means can contribute to the training of other navies, especially the Latin American ones. americans. The designation of these moderns of these ships, submarines and aircraft is a sign of prestige,” he said.
The Commodore of the Amphibious Squadron No. 8 of the United States Navy, Captain of Sea and War Thomas Maiers, said that this is the fourth edition of Unitas in which he participates, being the second in Brazil and there is no other exercise in the world that is so continuous. “It’s been 63 years involving cooperation. One of the things I’ve learned as I’ve been participating is that things don’t happen without trust. And how is trust built? With exercises like Unitas. When you ask why the United States is sending so many resources this year, it’s because it’s not just about building trust in one area. It has other domains in the air, sea and land,” he pointed out. “I’m excited to have wonderful workouts this year.”
For the vice-commodore of the US Navy’s Destroyer 40 Squadron, Captain of Sea and War Miguel Cháppel, the importance of exercises for the advancement of maritime actions goes beyond those carried out on land, sea and air. “Not only are we focused on the land, sea and air component. There is also the humanitarian part. Building partnerships with the nations present is extremely important for our country,” he said.
Translated to english by RJ983
From Brazil, by EBC News