US and partner nations conclude Pacific phase of UNITAS LX exercise

10 July 2019 (Last Updated July 10th, 2019 10:41)

The US and 12 partner nations have successfully completed the Pacific phase of UNITAS LX annual multinational maritime exercise. 

US and partner nations conclude Pacific phase of UNITAS LX exercise
An MH-60R Sea Hawk prepares to land on the flight deck of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112) during UNITAS LX. Credit: US Navy photo by mass communication specialist 2nd class Justin R Pacheco/Released.

The US and 12 partner nations have successfully completed the Pacific phase of UNITAS LX annual multinational maritime exercise.

Hosted by Chile, the dual-phase Pacific and Atlantic exercise began on 24 June and involved more than 1,700 personnel from 13 nations. It concluded on 3 July.

Participating nations also included Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Germany, Honduras, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Turkey, and the UK.

This was the 60th edition of the ‘world’s longest-running multinational maritime exercise’.

UNITAS involved ten warships and eight aircraft in scenario-driven maritime manoeuvring operations in the Pacific Ocean.

Assets undertook operations that included littoral warfare, anti-piracy, maritime interception, counter transnational organised crime, anti-surface and electronic combat exercises, as well as communications, air, and amphibious drills.

These drills were designed to enhance interoperability and capability between participating navies.

US Naval Forces Southern Command/US 4th Fleet commander rear admiral Donald Gabrielson said: “I was asked what is different about UNITAS this year. To which I replied, the people are different, presenting them with the same problems, giving them the experience, allowing us to respond quickly to a crisis as a team.”

UNITAS LX focused on training all personnel to increase responses in real-world crises.

Destroyer Squadron 40 deputy commodore captain Thomas Myers said: “Military operations move at the speed of trust. This is why building relationships is important, and this is why UNITAS will continue to be so important, now and into the future.”

UNITAS seeks to develop and test the ability of navies to respond to maritime missions under a single umbrella force.

Brazil is set to serve as the host nation for the Atlantic and amphibious phases of UNITAS next month.