UNITAS 2014: Enhancing cooperation

Fourteen partner nations from across the world recently came together in Callao, Peru, to represent UNITAS 2014, the 55th annual multi-national maritime exercise. UNITAS is the longest-running exercise of its type in the world.

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Ships participating in the 2014 UNITAS exercise, the 55th annual iteration of this multi-national exercise, steam in formation. UNITAS focuse on enhancing cooperation, cooperation, understanding and partnership among participating naval forces. U.S. Coast Guard photo.
Ships participating in the 2014 UNITAS exercise, the 55th annual iteration of this multi-national exercise, steam in formation. UNITAS focuse on enhancing cooperation, cooperation, understanding and partnership among participating naval forces. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Sherman recently concluded two-weeks of multinational naval exercises as the U.S. Coast Guard representative to UNITAS 2014.

UNITAS, which means “unity” in Latin, is a combined Latin American and U.S. exercise and has been building ties with foreign navies since 1959 making it the longest running exercise of its type in the world. Originally focused on anti-submarine warfare but nowadays it focuses on cooperation, understanding and partnership among participating navies in order to respond as a unified force to a wide variety of maritime missions. The exercise represents a unique opportunity to improve capabilities, readiness, and cooperative relations among countries of north, south, and central American naval forces while promoting hemispheric coalition, and two-way cooperation resulting in mutual benefit to all navies.

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Sherman, homeported in San Diego, California, arrives in Peru to represent the U.S. Coast Guard during UNITAS 2014. U.S. Coast Guard photo.
U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Sherman, homeported in San Diego, California, arrives in Peru to represent the U.S. Coast Guard during UNITAS 2014. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

This year, the Peruvian navy hosted UNITAS and involved the participation of 10 ships and patrol craft, submarines, helicopters maritime patrol and tactical aircraft and naval forces from the United States, Peru, Colombia, Chile and Mexico. Additionally, personnel from Argentina, Brazil, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Italy, Panama, United Kingdom and New Zealand were represented in the exercise.

This year’s exercise was conducted in two phases. The first phase included a full range of seamanship drills and experiences, including maritime operations, electronic warfare, anti-air warfare and air defense, anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and maritime interdiction operations. The second phase was a simulated at-sea war game to test all of the skills that were used and defined in the first phase.

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Sherman participates in a gunnery exercise during UNITAS 2014. U.S. Coast Guard photo.
U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Sherman participates in a gunnery exercise during UNITAS 2014. U.S. Coast Guard photo.
U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Sherman steams alongside partner naval forces during the first phase of UNITAS 2014. U.S. Coast Guard photo.
U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Sherman steams alongside partner naval forces during the first phase of UNITAS 2014. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Aside from conducting naval exercises, UNITAS included other activities while the ships were moored in Callao and Salaverry, Peru. Events included sporting events among partner nations, a community relations project for a local school, a wreath laying ceremony at a Peruvian naval monument, and a plaque exchange among the nations.

Crewmembers aboard U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Sherman participated in various community relations events as a part of UNITAS 2014. U.S. Coast Guard photo.
Crewmembers aboard U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Sherman participated in various community relations events as a part of UNITAS 2014. U.S. Coast Guard photo.
U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard members participated in various community relations events during the second phase of UNITAS 2014. U.S. Coast Guard photo.
U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard members participated in various community relations events during the second phase of UNITAS 2014. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

This year’s UNITAS resulted in a stronger coalition, multilateral security cooperation and new friendships, strict professionalism and mutual understanding among the participating partner nations.

The next UNITAS exercise is scheduled for late 2015 in Chile and Brazil.

1 comments on “UNITAS 2014: Enhancing cooperation”

  1. the Sherm was my last unit in the CG. Left her in 1973. Great boat and crew. But she must be getting tired by now.

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