On March 7, the Brazilian Marine Corps (CFN) celebrated its 215th anniversary with a military ceremony held at the São José Fortress on Ilha das Cobras. During the ceremony, the Brazilian Navy took the opportunity to present its newest armored vehicle, the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), acquired from U.S. company Oshkosh Defense.
“It’s a very important vehicle for us. It adds armored protection, very high mobility, protection against explosive devices, and a very reasonable firepower,” said CFN Lieutenant General Roberto Ramos Lage, Materials commander. “Right now, the weapons station hasn’t arrived yet, but it will in the near future, next month. It’s the best thing in the world.”
The vehicle, with has the capacity for up to five crew members, was specially designed for urban environment use, can be safely driven over rough terrain, and can protect its crew from the impact of an explosion. The contract signed between the Brazilian Navy and the U.S. government includes the acquisition of 12 vehicles of this type. Four were delivered in February, four more will arrive in the second half of this year, and four more in early 2024.
The contract with the U.S. government and the Brazilian Marine Corps, Lt. Gen. Lage explained, includes the transfer of technology to the Brazilian Defense Industrial Base (BID), which encompasses Brazil’s private and state-owned Defense companies. “As such, the contract always states the need, the obligation of the company to pass on this technology so that our BID can design and build it with national means, while also meeting the needs of the Navy and the Armed Forces,” Lt. Gen. Lage said.
For his part, General Carlos Chagas Vianna Braga, CFN commander, highlighted the upstanding relationship with the U.S. military. “The partnership between the Brazilian Armed Forces and the U.S. military, especially with regard to the Brazilian Navy and the Marine Corps, is very solid and has been ongoing for many years. So today we have a very good relationship and all the commitments are being honored on both sides. Regarding the Marines, the relationship between the two forces is very transparent and we’ve had a reasonable amount of means coming from the United States,” Gen. Carlos Chagas said.
The JLTV, the commander went on to say, will ensure security in a conflicted urban environment for both the military and the civilian population. “When we enter a conflict environment, where there is shooting, and we are not in an armored vehicle, the only protection we have is to shoot. If we are in an armored vehicle, we don’t need to do that as much, protecting those who are in the vehicle and those who are outside,” Gen. Carlos Chagas said.
215 years of existence
Gen. Carlos Chagas highlighted the incorporation of women to the CFN, which in 2022 had its first officer graduating from the Naval School and is expected to have two more this year. “We are also preparing ourselves to receive, as of next year, the first women in the Marine Soldier Training Course. Applications closed last week [early March], and the demand was incredible: 7,200 candidates for 96 vacancies.”
Gen. Carlos Chagas also emphasized that the United Nations (U.N.) approved the CFN’s Rapid Reaction Force as level 3, in April 2022, the highest level of operational readiness — currently the only one in the world at this level. Its Explosive Ordnance Disposal Platoon was recently approved by the U.N. as level 1, the first in Brazil, making it available to participate in peacekeeping missions in the area of demining.
“Celebrating 215 years of existence is a privilege that very few institutions in our country can enjoy,” Brazilian Defense Minister José Múcio said during the ceremony. “The Marines are constantly employed for the protection of our people, either via naval power, its very essence, or in relief situations in natural disaster cases.”