After more than two weeks of advanced exercises at sea, the first operation of the year involving the means of the Brazilian Navy Squadron (MB), Aspirantex 2023 , comes to an end today (01) . The mission, carried out in the area between the states of Rio de Janeiro and Santa Catarina, was marked by the participation of 291 aspirants from the Naval School embarked on the five naval means involved, in addition to more than two thousand military personnel. 

Aspirantex is particularly relevant as it allows first to third year Naval Academy aspirants to become familiar with life at sea, in addition to being a decisive moment for second year aspirants who, at the end of their commission, make their professional choices between the Corps of the Navy, Marines and Quartermasters of the MB. As for the Fleet, it marks the beginning of the annual training cycle for its ships and aircraft, operating in a Task Group.

Intense exercises to prepare assets and crew During the period between January 16th and February 1st, thirty different types of exercises were carried out, such as on-board landing qualification and requalification (QRPB), cyber war actions, transit under aerial threat, amphibious demonstration, transit with surface opposition, transfer of light cargo, training with pyrotechnics, arming and disarming aircraft, shooting over the “killer tomato” with a 40mm machine gun – the “killer tomato” is an inflatable orange target , which is launched at sea for shooting exercises -, among others. 

One of the differentials this year was the launch of cargo by aircraft of the Brazilian Air Force (FAB). On the occasion, the FAB aircraft “C-130 Hércules” launched a cargo into the sea, while an MB aircraft, the UH-12 “Escilo” took off from the frigate “Defensora” doing a “vertrep”, a term in English for set transferring cargo through the helicopter’s hook. This exercise made it possible to increase interoperability between the Forces, expanding the possibilities of action in a possible need to receive supplies by air at any time, for example.

Other training carried out aimed at a possible need for assistance to victims in case of “large-scale rescue of shipwrecked people”, which serves to train the standard procedure for a need to rescue a number of people above what is commonly practiced.

During Aspirantex, there was also the launch of four anti-aircraft missiles “Apide” with the Albatros system. According to the Commander of the Frigate “Independencia”, Captain of the Frigate Ademar Augusto Simões Junior, this type of training reinforces the readiness of the means and personnel involved. “Launching missiles requires both logistical preparation and great personnel preparation, and we had that. The proof was the success that was achieved, fulfilling the task and launching four missiles that shot down the air targets”, he comments.

During the mission, the ships also reinforced the security of the Exclusive Economic Zone in the Santos Basin region (SP), which produces oil and natural gas in Brazil. The presence in that part of the Blue Amazon reaffirms MB’s concern to protect wealth, guarantee sovereignty and defend Brazil’s economic interests.
Visit to the shipyard where the “Tamandaré Class” frigates are being built On January 20, authorities and midshipmen from the Naval Academy visited the Thyssenkrupp Estaleiro Brasil Sul, in Itajaí (SC). At the site, they were able to see up close how the construction process of four warships is going, which will be part of the Brazilian Navy Squadron – Frigates “Classe Tamandaré”.

MB has conducted the “Tamandaré Class” Frigates Program since 2017, with the aim of promoting the renewal of the Fleet with modern ships, of high technological complexity, built in the country. These ships, scheduled for delivery between 2025 and 2029, will have high combat power and will be able to protect the extensive Brazilian maritime area, carry out search and rescue operations and meet international commitments, for example.

Dialogue about career Throughout the commission, always towards the end of the day, midshipmen attended interactive presentations with senior officers, when they could clarify their doubts and get to know better the career and personal stories of those who have gone through many challenges and achievements that they will still live.