October 22, 2015 - 10:50 ( Brasília )

Geopolitics

UNITAS 2015 - Southern Seas


US SOUTHCOM


The U.S. Navy has deployed the USS George Washington task group to the waters surrounding Latin America and the Caribbean to conduct the Southern Seas 2015 deployment and take part in the multinational UNITAS naval exercises. From September - December 2015, the task group will train alongside multinational forces to enhance cooperative partnerships with regional maritime services and improve operational readiness. USS George Washington will also circumnavigate South America as it transits to Norfolk, Va. for scheduled refueling.

Overview

Southern Seas 2015 is a U.S. Southern Command-directed operation planned by Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command / Commander, U.S. Fourth Fleet and carried out by USS George Washington (CVN 73). USS George Washington task group includes Carrier Strike Group NINE (CSG9), Carrier Air Wing TWO (CVW-2), USNS Big Horn (T-AO-198), USNS Guadalupe (T-AO-200), USS Chafee (DDG 90) and USS McFaul (DDG 74).

Southern Seas 2015 supports the U.S. Maritime Strategy and U.S. Southern Command objectives for enhanced maritime security in the region.  The deployment provides the opportunity for U.S and partner nation forces to operate in a multinational environment, refine coordination, improve interoperability and demonstrate flexibility.

The task group will conduct a variety of exercises and multinational exchanges. These exchanges include Distinguished Visitor embark engagements with Panama, Peru, Colombia, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay; and bilateral at-sea operations with Japan, Peru, Chile and Brazil.  USS George Washington will also visit Peru, Chile, and Brazil during port visits.

As part of Southern Seas 2015, the multinational exercise UNITAS 2015 will be conducted in two phases: UNITAS Pacific and UNITAS Atlantic.

About UNITAS

UNITAS, Latin for “unity,” is a longstanding, combined South American and U.S.-sponsored annual exercise series.  

UNITAS supports U.S. Southern Command objectives for enhanced maritime security in its area of responsibility.  It is intended to train participating forces in a variety of maritime scenarios to test command and control of forces at sea, while operating as a multinational force to provide the maximum opportunity to improve interoperability.

UNITAS Pacific

UNITAS Pacific is scheduled for mid-October 2015. Chile will host the exercise, with participation from Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, and the United States.

The following U.S. assets will participate in UNITAS Pacific: USS George Washington (CVN 73), Carrier Strike Group NINE (CSG9), Carrier Air Wing TWO (CVW-2), USS Chafee (DDG 90), USNS Guadalupe (T-AO-200), Commander, Destroyer Squadron 23 (CDS-23), U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet staff, VP-9, VP-62 ANG KC-135, and U.S. Navy Reserve augmentees.

Participating Chilean forces include seven ships, two submarines, and four aircraft. Colombia and Mexico will each provide one ship with a helicopter detachment.

UNITAS Atlantic

UNITAS Atlantic is scheduled for mid-November 2015. Brazil will host the exercise, with participation from Cameroon, Chile, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Peru, Senegal, and the United States.

The following U.S. assets will participate in UNITAS Atlantic: USS George Washington (CVN 73), Carrier Strike Group NINE (CSG9), Carrier Air Wing TWO (CVW-2), USS Chafee (DDG 90), USS McFaul (DDG 74), USNS Big Horn (T-AO-198), Commander, Destroyer Squadron 23 (CDS-23), U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet staff, VP-8, KC-135, and U.S. Naval Reserve augmentees.

Brazil will participate with six ships, one submarine, and eight aircraft. Chile will participate with one ship and a helicopter and Peru will participate with one ship, one helicopter, and one Fokker F-60 aircraft.

Background

This is the eighth Southern Seas deployment conducted in the region since 2006.  The first deployment, then known as Partnership of the Americas, also included the aircraft carrier USS George Washington.

UNITAS, the U.S. Navy`s longest-running annual multilateral exercise, was first carried out in 1960 and has been held every year since. UNITAS exercises are conducted annually in Atlantic and Pacific waters around South America. UNITAS enhances friendly, mutual cooperation and understanding between participating navies by developing interoperability in naval operations among the nations of the region.