More Than 2,000 Sailors from Five Countries Begin Unitas Exercise in Peru
By Dialogo May 18, 2012
On May 16, more than 2,000 Sailors from Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, and
the United States began the Unitas 2012 multilateral naval exercise, in which they
will simulate actions to fight drug trafficking and organized crime in the region,
the Peruvian Navy announced.
“The aim of these exercises is training to be able to combat drug
trafficking, smuggling, and piracy in our countries,” Peruvian Navy Commander Jorge
Núñez told AFP.
During Unitas 2012, the naval and air units will conduct electronic warfare,
surface, anti-submarine, and air defense exercises, as well as amphibious and
maritime interdiction operations.
The operations will last ten days and will take place between the coasts of
Huacho (in northern Peru) and Pisco (in the southern part of the country), with the
participation of frigates, landing ships, submarines, helicopters, and combat planes
from the five countries.
Colombian Navy Captain Juan Aldana indicated at a press conference that he
was glad to have arrived in Peru with a very young crew eager to share many
experiences with the other Navies.
Peru is participating with five missile frigates, two corvettes, one landing
ship, two submarines, and Cessna A-37 and MB 339 planes.
Mexico, Chile, and Colombia will contribute helicopters, ships, and patrol
boats, while the United States has sent its combat frigate Underwood, a helicopter,
and a maritime patrol plane.
This is the fifth time since 2000 that the Peruvian coast will be the stage
for these multilateral naval exercises.
The first Unitas exercise was held in Venezuela in 1960, with the aim of
training, skills development, cooperation, and establishing ties of trust among the
Navies of the region.