By Vitor Abdala
The Brazilian coast this year is providing the setting for the 63rd edition of Unitas, which brings together naval forces from Brazil and 19 other countries. The activities started Saturday (Sep 10) and should last until September 22. According to the Brazilian Navy, this is the world’s oldest multinational naval exercise held continuously.
In addition to military maneuvers, search and rescue training is being offered in partnership with the Argentine and Uruguayan navies. “Brazil rescues hundreds of people in difficult conditions at sea and in our rivers every year, so we are having search and rescue training as well,” said the commander of the Brazilian Navy, Admiral Almir Garnier Santos.
The exercises are executed between the southern coast of Rio de Janeiro and the south of Espírito Santo state, where the oil fields of the Campos basin are located.
“The exercises focus on all the traditional maneuvers we perform at sea—be it the approach of ships for cargo transfer, submarine operations, air operations, air combat maneuvers,” said the squadron commander, Admiral Arthur Bettega.
Besides Brazil, the following countries are participating in this year’s edition of Unitas: the US, Belize, Cameroon, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, France, Guyana, Jamaica, Mexico, Namibia, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, South Korea, Spain, Dominican Republic, the UK, and Uruguay.
*With information from radio reporter Cristiane Ribeiro