With 5,500 military personnel, 21 aircraft and 21 ships, including a submarine, Operation UNITAS LXIII begins on September 10 in Brazil. The opening event was held this Thursday (08), in the city of Niterói (RJ), at the headquarters of the Brazilian Squadron, followed by a press conference.

Since 1960, UNITAS has been the oldest multinational maritime exercise organized by the North Americans and, in this edition, Brazil is the coordinator and host country. The main objectives of the operation are to increase the interoperability of the Navies through the conduct of naval, air and marine operations, in addition to strengthening the ties of cooperation between the participating countries.

63rd Operation UNITAS

Commanded by Rear Admiral Marcelo Menezes Cardoso, Commander of the 1st Fleet Division, the Brazilian Task Group (GT) is composed of the following ships: Multipurpose Airfield Ship “Atlântico”; Multipurpose Dock Ship “Bahia”; Combat Tank Landing Ship “Almirante Sabóia”; Frigate “Constitution”; Frigate “Liberal”; Frigate “Union”; General Cargo Landing Vessel “Camboriú”; “Amazonas” Ocean Patrol Vessel; Patrol Ship “Macaé”; Ocean Support Ship “Purus”; and Sweepers “Aratu” and “Araçatuba”.

The GT will also have a detachment of Combat Divers, a troop of 500 Marines, Amphibious Caterpillar Cars (CLAnf) and the support of the following Brazilian Navy aircraft: Super Cougar (UH-15); Seahawk (SH-16); Super Linx (AH-11 A/B); Squirrel (UH-12); Skyhawk (AF-1); in addition to the “Orion” (P-3AM) and “Bandeirante Patrulha” (P-95) aircraft of the Brazilian Air Force.

Opening event was held at the Almirante Marques de Leão Dressage Center, in Niterói (RJ) – Image: Marinha do Brasil

This year, the Operation will have the participation of seventeen foreign navies: Cameroon, Chile, Colombia, South Korea, Ecuador, Spain, United States, France, Jamaica, Mexico, Namibia, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, United Kingdom, Dominican Republic and Uruguay.

“In this edition, there will be a specific task unit focused on maritime security. These exercises will be carried out by the Patrol Vessels of the Cameroon Navy, from Namibia, as well as by the British and Brazilian Patrol Vessels”, said Admiral Cardoso.

Operation UNITAS 2022 will consist of a port and a maritime phase. The sea phase, in turn, will have three stages. The first will be for preparation, where exercises will be carried out in surface actions, anti-submarine and anti-aircraft, electronic warfare and maritime interdiction operations; in the second there will be exercises specifically linked to maritime safety; the final phase will be an amphibious stage, which will include 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 vessels of landing.

“Since 2008, UNITAS has been carried out with an amphibious phase. This inclusion shows the importance that the Brazilian Navy attaches to the preparation of the Forces to carry out humanitarian aid and disaster remediation operations. One of the important contributions of this type of training is what we learned in humanitarian aid to Haiti”, explained Admiral Cardoso.

In the port phase, workshops will be held for the Marine Corps and Special Operations troops, in addition to activities that will allow cultural exchanges, sporting events and relationship projects with the civilian public.

For US Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro, the two weeks of intense exercises include complex operations on the high seas, testing the capacity for international joint action, which requires coordination in all domains.

“Success in this type of mission requires constant communication, multilateral cooperation and, most importantly, trust. Confidence in the capacity and decisions of our Navies and our Nations”, commented the Secretary.

Authorities greet ship commanders and heads of delegation participating in the mission – Image: Marinha do Brasil