The frigate “Liberal”, an escort ship of the Brazilian Navy, docked at the Naval Base of Rio de Janeiro, on the morning of Thursday (12), after being employed in the 3rd edition of Operation “GUINEX”. On board were 280 crew members, who were away from their families for more than two months, conducting exercises with friendly navies in order to promote maritime security on the west coast of the African continent.
Beginning on August 6, the operation sought to increase the Brazilian Navy’s presence in the Gulf of Guinea and interoperability between the region’s Navies and Coast Guards, in addition to raising the level of training of the crews involved. The Brazilian Task Group (GT) was also composed of a Detachment of Combat Divers and a UH-12 “Squirrel” aircraft from the 1st General Purpose Helicopter Squadron, embarked on the Frigate “Liberal.”
During “GUINEX-III”, joint exercises were carried out in port and at sea with the navies and coast guards of São Tomé and Príncipe, Cameroon, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, and Cape Verde, as well as exercises with the navies of Portugal and Spain. For Rear Admiral André Luiz de Andrade Felix, Commander of the 2nd Division of the Fleet, who led the WG in the 1st phase of the commission, the operation contributed to strengthening ties of friendship and cooperation between the countries, through their respective Naval Forces. “The exchange of experiences and training of our service members with navies and coast guards marked Brazil’s presence on the west coast of Africa, taking our flag to the African continent and strengthening diplomatic ties,” said the GT Commander, who was on board from August 6 to September 7.
Among the actions, techniques for boarding, visiting, and inspecting suspicious ships, maneuvering fast vessels, transit under asymmetric threats, and special operations techniques were presented. Conducting exercises with friendly navies enables the sharing of experiences and procedures, preserving the maintenance of operational capacity, and also contributing to the strengthening of the South Atlantic Zone of Peace and Cooperation (ZOPACAS), according to Rear Admiral Nelson de Oliveira Leite, Commander of the 1st Division of the Fleet, who assumed command of the Brazilian GT between September 7 and October 12. “The Navy conducted training and exercises with the objective of promoting interoperability with regional forces, in addition to conducting presence actions in the maritime areas of the Gulf of Guinea and sharing experiences in operations that increased the perception of maritime security in our strategic environment,” he said.
In addition to the exercises, the Navy made donations to the African population. More than ten tons of donations were delivered, including groceries, clothes, uniforms and books. According to the Commander of the Frigate “Liberal”, Captain Rogerio Moreira Diniz, this was one of the important moments of the mission: “Among the various activities we carried out during the operation, the donations that were sent from Brazil to the African peoples were remarkable for all service members. Seeing the joy of the population when receiving the donations and representing Brazil, our people, in helping those in need was remarkable.” Uniforms and communications equipment were also delivered to the Cape Verde Coast Guard, which will enable voice and data transmission over long distances during maritime operations.