The US Navy has announced the commencement of the UNITAS LXII annual multinational maritime exercise on 24 September near Lima, Peru.

Hosted by the Peruvian Navy, this year’s UNITAS exercise will involve four submarines, 29 ships/vessels and 20 aircraft to conduct operations off the Lima coast. The operations will also be conducted in the jungles of Iquitos.

The exercise will be held in Pacific, Amphibious, and Amazon phases, all hosted by Peru.

UNITAS LXII, which marks the 62nd iteration of the annual maritime exercise, will run through 6 October.

Navies from 19 countries, including the UK and the US, are participating in the drills.

The objective of the multinational exercise is to train navy and marine corps to conduct combined and joint operations.

According to the US Navy, the initial in port phase will see the participating navies exchange community relations projects, an international cuisine festival, and city tours to build relationships.

The service noted that the ships will take part in combined and joint operations at sea as a multi-national task force to train in multiple warfare areas. These events will follow the ships’ opening ceremonies.

UNITAS was first executed in 1960 and is being held every year since then.

The exercise helps in the development and sustainment of relationships between maritime partners and in achieving common goals.

Furthermore, it fosters military-to-military exchanges, cooperation and understanding between the nations.

In August 2019, the 60th edition of the UNITAS LX exercise took place off the coast of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.