Military Interoperability at the Helm of Brazil’s Mega Events

Military Interoperability at the Helm of Brazil’s Mega Events

By Dialogo
April 01, 2013

Marcos Ommati/Diálogo Staff
Brazil recently hosted two large events: the 5th Military World Games and the
Rio+20 Security Conference. Both were successful because of the high level of
security provided and the joint participation by the Brazilian Armed Forces. The
country will host at least four more important events in the next three years: the
Confederations Cup and the World Youth Day in 2013, the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and the
2016 Summer Olympics. Once again, the Armed Forces will join the games to guarantee
law and order.
The responsibilities of the Brazilian Military during mega events are
determined by a Defense Ministry decree. The document states that the Armed Forces
will defend and control the airspace; defend the ports, rivers, and maritime areas;
maintain cyberspace security; prepare and use anti-terrorism teams; detect and
dispose of explosives and also assist in the activities of the contingency forces
against chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear agents in all host cities and
other locations where the events will occur.
According to the chief of the Brazilian Armed Forces Joint Staff, Army
General José Carlos de Nardi, who was interviewed by Diálogo in Brasília in late
January 2013, those who work with security know the importance of the lessons
learned from prior events. “The experience accumulated during the 5th Military World
Games, Rio+20 and, prior to those, the 2007 Pan American Games, will help to improve
the operational procedures and planning, formulation and execution of
responsibilities assigned to the Armed Forces,” declared Gen. De Nardi.


The general pointed to the security plans implemented during the Military
World Games and Rio+20 as examples of the Brazilian Armed Forces’ concern with
airspace security, since anti-aircraft artillery is a prerequisite for international
committees that organize the World Cup and the Olympic Games. He said anti-aircraft
artillery is part of the equation, but it does not represent a solution by itself.
Gen. De Nardi said each of the host cities will have an air defense adjusted to its
needs (see sidebar).

The Brazilian Armed Forces have acquired the necessary materials to support
public forces during mega events, according to the general, and they are working on
capabilities that can still be improved. For security reasons, he didn’t go into
details. He also said that at least 1,500 Soldiers will be used in each of the 12
venues at the World Cup headquarters, up to a total of 18,000 Soldiers, “but this
does not prevent the Aerial Defense Coordination team from further analyzing the
need, and possibly increasing this head count,” he added.
In addition, Gen. De Nardi said military airports may be used during the 2014
World Cup, but a decision is still pending regarding this matter.

Integrated Commands

The military will build command and control centers in each of the
headquarters for the 2014 World Cup. They, in turn, will coordinate with the command
and control centers maintained by public security organizations and by the Armed
Forces Joint Staff, which is responsible for coordinating the troops. “Integration
will be the key point of security in these events, and each action has a respective
scope,” said Gen. De Nardi.
According to Brazilian Minister of Defense Celso Amorim, well-coordinated
international cooperation plays an important role in the success of these events.
“This is why we have been receiving delegations from different countries and
increasing our bonds of trust and interaction with all of them,” Minister Amorim
told Diálogo.


Transferring teams to sites within the cities will be coordinated jointly by
all authorities, including the security staffs from the international sports
organizations. In the case of the World Cup, for example, FIFA security agents will
escort the teams with support from the Brazilian Federal Police. These transfers
will be monitored by the command and control centers of the public security agencies
in each city.
The interoperability between all forces involved is crucial to avoid
disruption. “Providing security for the event is one thing, but creating conditions
for public safety so that the event takes place is another thing,” Colonel Alberto
Pinheiro Neto, chief of the General Operational Joint Staff of the Military Police
of Rio de Janeiro (PMERJ), told Diálogo. He explained that the investments on the
PMERJ will ensure that people who “come to Rio de Janeiro to attend a game in
Maracanã stadium, but also plan on attending another event in Copacabana, for
example, will be safe; and if they want to visit another town, they will also be
safe, because safety is not limited to the inside of Maracanã stadium only.”
The Brazilian Defense Ministry said the security plan it created was designed
to interfere as little as possible in the population’s daily routine. The main
concern was to increase security against potential threats, such as terrorist and
virtual attacks. Because of that, they have not scheduled a specific time for the
Armed Forces to occupy the slums before and during the mega events.

Anti-terror Actions

For strategic and security reasons, Gen. De Nardi preferred not to elaborate
on the possible creation of a joint task force for anti-terrorism operation. “I can
say that our troops have been properly trained to deal with such challenges. We also
have very well-trained special forces, which makes me confident in our prevention
competency in case of terrorism and response system in situations of
The general stressed interoperability. He said the Brazilian Armed Forces
will act in joint commands composed of participants from the three forces, allowing
for a permanent integration.
For instance, during the World Cup, these commands will be divided according
to the host city. The Army will appoint defense coordinators for Rio de Janeiro,
Belo Horizonte, São Paulo, Brasília, Fortaleza, Cuiabá, Manaus, Porto Alegre and
Recife. The Navy will assign the coordinators for Salvador and Natal, while the Air
Force will assign coordinators responsible for Curitiba. “In any event, the focus of
the actions is to create synergy in the face of a common goal, since none of the
branches of the Armed Forces can, on their own, handle all the challenges that come
with the security of these events,” he concluded.

Brazilian Air Base

Jurassa Peccini/Brazilian Air Force Magazine

Brasília will serve as a major airbase, with aircraft from different bases
throughout the country mobilized for the security of international sports
competitions, such as the Confederations Cup, the World Cup and the Olympic Games.
The new command and control models were tested last year in military operations that
brought the three services together. They anticipate creation of a central command
in Brasília to articulate all aerial transportation in the country. Before then, all
aircraft involved were moved and accompanied by the command in each region of the
“It represents the conservation of ma- terial, human and financial
resources,” said Lieutenant General Antonio Carlos Egito do Amaral, chief of the
Aerial Operations General Command Joint Staff (EMGAR). The World Cup, for instance,
will take place in 12 host cities throughout the country, which indicates, by the
previous model, that the concentration of resources and Soldiers will be in each of
these regions. According to the new model, a central command will coordinate
resources for aviation security in the areas of the events.
“With centralized planning, we will place the right aircraft at the right
time to meet the needs of each area,” the general said.