The Brazilian and Argentine armies carried out Operation Arandu at Barão de São Borja Training Camp, in Rosário do Sul, Rio Grande do Sul, November 14-20, 2020. The joint exercise, coordinated by the Brazilian Southern Military Command (CMS, in Portuguese), ends a cycle that started in 2017, with three prior operations, Hermandad in 2017, Yaguareté and Saci/Duende in 2019.
A total of 2,300 Brazilian and Argentine service members, 100 armored vehicles, 450 operations vehicles, and 10 aircraft (three Argentine and seven Brazilian), participated in the operation. The equipment and vehicles came from throughout Brazil to be used in the southern part of the country for the operation.
According to the CMS, the operation is “the result of an international commitment between Brazil and Argentina, strengthening diplomacy between the two countries, consolidating the ties of unity and friendship. The objectives include exchanging information on doctrine, establishing common standards of joint work, solidifying lessons learned, and understanding the tactics, techniques, and procedures to be used by the military organizations of both participant nations.”
One of the highlights of Operation Arandu was the water stream repositioning exercise, where engineering and cavalry military units demonstrated mobile troop capabilities when facing underwater obstacles, by using a floating panel bridge. With an extensive riverine network, Brazil is among the countries with the most rivers on the continent. Therefore, overcoming water obstacles is common for the troops and one of the main objectives of the Brazilian Army (EB, in Portuguese) Corps of Engineers.
Another highlight of the operation was the use of armored vehicles to transport Guarani personnel, where service members use remote-control technology to shoot .50 caliber weapons installed on the vehicles. There was also a rocket demonstration of the Astros high-tech missile system and artillery rockets, launched from the vehicles’ platforms. Six vehicles were deployed by land to Rio Grande do Sul from the 16th Missile and Rocket Group headquarters, in Minas Gerais.
According to Lieutenant General Hertz Pires do Nascimento, commander of the EB’s 3rd Division, the deployment by land of the Astros system, for more than 2,000 kilometers, was in itself a training on service members’ ability to mobilize.
Paratroopers jumped from the Brazilian Air Force’s C105 Amazonas aircraft. Argentine service members also received their paratrooper licenses during the operation.
General Edson Leal Pujol, commander of the EB, Brigadier General Agustín Humberto Cejas, commander of the Argentine Army, and officers from both armies participated in Operation Arandu.
“This is an important moment for us. It promotes military interaction because it gives us an adequate perspective of the full capacity of both armies,” said Brig. Gen. Cejas.
According to Gen. Pujol, the operation symbolizes the cooperation, integration, and friendship between Brazil and Argentina and their respective armies. “We are not only training our Army, but also learning and exchanging experiences. Above all, we are strengthening the existing friendship and trust,” he said.