Two U.S. Navy landing craft, air cushion (LCAC) with heavy equipment arrived on the Brazilian Marine Corps Base of Ilha do Governador to be used for UNITAS LX, the longest-running multinational maritime exercise, organized by the United States since 1959.
In addition to the United States and Brazil, Argentina and Peru will contribute ships and aircraft. Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, and the United Kingdom will send personnel to participate, and Japan and Portugal will observe, totaling 13 nations, 14 ships, one submarine, eight helicopters, and five aircraft. The USS CARTER HALL left Norfolk, Virginia, on August 4 with approximately 350 U.S. sailors and marines on board, en route to Rio de Janeiro to participate in the exercise.
This year, in addition to the sea operation, there will be an amphibious phase, which will simulate coordinated humanitarian assistance delivery to Marambaia Island. For the first time, this year’s exercise will focus on facilitating humanitarian assistance and disaster relief through regional maritime cooperation.
The exercise focuses on strengthening the existing regional partnerships and encourages establishing new relationships through the exchange of maritime mission-focused knowledge and expertise during multinational training operations.
The Commander of the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), Admiral Craig S. Faller, Rear Admiral Donald D. Gabrielson, Major General Michael F. Fahey, Colonel Robert T. Meade, and Captain Thomas E. Mayers will attend UNITAS. Admiral Faller will speak at the August 19 opening ceremony followed by a visit to a Brazilian helicopter carrier Atlantico. Faller will also speak to students of the War College (ESG) about professionalism and leadership. On August 20, he will attend the 70th-anniversary celebration of the college, whose creation was inspired by the National War College in the United States. The Commander will then travel to Natal, where he will attend the South American Defense Conference 2019.