13 Countries Gather for UNITAS LX (60th Edition) – a Multinational Maritime Exercise in Brazil
- August 23, 2019
- Category: Alaska Containers™, Alaska ECU®, Forward Operating Sites, Military, Military Exercise, Military Shelter Systems, SOUTHCOM, UNITAS
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Militaries from 13 nations are participating in the world’s longest-running multinational maritime exercise. Established in 1959 and conducted annually, UNITAS LX (60) focuses on strengthening security and regional maritime partnerships through the exchange of mission-focused knowledge and expertise.
This year’s military exercise is hosted by the Brazilian Navy and began on August 19 with an opening ceremony speech from Adm. Craig S. Faller, commander U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM). Forces from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and the United States are working towards developing a multinational maritime task force aimed at readiness. Military leaders from the United Kingdom, Japan, and Portugal are attending in an observing capacity aboard the Bahia, a multipurpose ship in the Brazilian Navy.
More than 3,100 personnel, ships, and aircraft are participating in the training operation comprised of two phases: UNITAS Atlantic which is focused on sea operations and UNITAS Amphibious for ship-to-shore movements directed on supporting a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) scenario to Marambaia Island, Brazil.
On August 20, two U.S. Navy Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) loaded with heavy equipment used for disaster and recovery efforts, and Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAVs) transported U.S. Marines from the 4th Assault Amphibian Battalion, as well as joining forces onto the shores of the Brazilian Marine Corps Base of Ilha do Governador (Governor’s Island, in English), Brazil.
(24) Alaska 20′ x 32.5′ XP military shelter systems from Alaska Defense™, each equipped with Alaska 5-ton ECUs™ (Environmental Control Units), were setup to house 470 soldiers, support on-shore training and workshop activities, and to simulate deploying a Forward Operating Site (FOS). An additional (4) Alaska Shelter Systems are equipped with shower and latrine facilities. All Alaska Shelter Systems and related equipment were transported to the Brazilian Naval Infantry Base in reusable Alaska Containers™.
UNITAS, which means “unity” in Latin, is a demonstration of the United States’ commitment to partner nations as well as to the region’s security and stability. Participating U.S. Forces include:
- USS Carter Hall (LSD 50) with approximately 350 Sailors and Marines
- Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit Two (MDSU-2)
- Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 2 detachment (EOD 2)
- U.S. Navy VP-26 Patrol Squadron
- U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area (LantArea)
- Defense Institute for Medical Operations (DIMO)
- Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Southern Command (SPMAGTF-SC)
- U.S Marine Corps Forces, South (MARFORSOUTH)
- U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command / U.S. Fourth Fleet (USNAVSO/FOURTHFLT)
- 40 staff with the U.S. Navy Destroyer Squadron (DESRON)
UNITAS LX is scheduled to commence on August 30.
UNITAS LX Pacific, which included maritime forces from 12 countries, was conducted from June 24 to July 3 and hosted by Chile.