Operation Anhanduí: Brazilian Armed Forces Train for Interoperability
By Dialogo October 31, 2011
Brazil’s Armed Forces, aiming to improve the execution of joint missions, carried out Operation Anhanduí in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul.
Conceived and coordinated by the Ministry of Defense Joint Command of the Armed Forces (EMCFA), Operation Anhanduí — conducted Oct. 11-17 — seeks to provide operational capability while testing new technologies.
Oversight of operations is in the hands of Army Gen. José Carlos de Nardi, head of the EMCFA, and the commander of naval operations, Adm. Prado Maia; land commander, Army Gen. Amércio Salvador de Oliveira; and air commander, Lt. Brig. Gilberto Antonio Saboya Burnier.
Operation Anhanduí includes men and women from the Navy, Army and Air Force, and is focused solely on Mato Grosso do Sul — specifically the state’s capital, Campo Grande, and the surrounding municipalities of Laguna Carapã, Aquidauana and Dourados.
Jumping to save lives
On Oct. 12, more than 200 officers parachuted over Laguna Carapã, as part of an exercise to save the lives of members of the Green country living in the border areas.
The mission was to train military personnel to jump in parachutes in the enemy’s rearguard, while waiting for the arrival of armored troops to surround the adversary. The location of the jump as well as the gathering points was previously determined.
For this operation, the two countries facing off were Green and Yellow.
A day later, they received assistance from 120 soldiers and officers who jumped from Casa C-105 Amazonas aircraft and faced off with irregular forces until reinforcements arrived. The action was no less intense in the area of Ladário, where five combat ships were aided by five A-29 Super Tucano planes, with rockets and machine guns.
The objective of these military exercises was to create safe zones for the evacuation of Yellow country civilians fleeing the neighboring nation in turmoil. Hypothetically, between 10,000 and 30,000 people could be rescued and settled in a secure location, in this case the city’s Guanandizão gymnasium.
“In Operations Ágata 1 and 2 and Boiadeiro, still ongoing, we applied our knowledge to subsidiary security actions,” said Gen. de Nardi at the operational briefing in the headquarters of the Western Military Command in Campo Grande, according to a statement from the Ministry of Defense. “Now, we are using this knowledge towards our main purpose.”
As real as an exercise can get
The Green country’s actions were conducted by about 2,500 men and women of the three forces with the support of 14 planes from the Brazilian Air Force, 10 Army helicopters and five Navy ships.
The actions of the Yellow nation are handled virtually from Brasília; in addition, about 100 men play the role of much larger combat units in the field.
Through previous coordination with state and municipal governments, social workers had selected residents from poor neighborhoods of Campo Grande to represent the thousands of refugees from the Yellow country.
De Nardi visited the Secure Destination Facility [Local de Destino Seguro], the Guanandizão gymnasium, where the refugees waited.
“In a catastrophe like the one in Haiti, we may have to rescue Brazilian citizens who will arrive here with nothing,” De Nardi said at a press conference, as he explained to reporters the importance of these war games. “They will have to go through all the stages we are simulating here. ”
The Secure Destination Facility can be established in an open field or in an existing physical structure, such as a university or gymnasium, Maj. José Márcio de Figueiredo of the 9th Military Region Command said at a press conference.
Obviously, the use of existing facilities reduces the workload and the drain on resources because they are already connected to water, sewer systems, electricity and housing. The other essential component is to set up social services required by the refugees, such as civilian and military justice, emergency assistance and health care.
About 300 military personnel, 100 representatives of welfare and social services entities, and 150 people as stand-ins for refugees participated in this simulation.
Rivadávia and Lucimara Queiroz brought their son Lucas for a medical consultation in the dermatology clinic. They received lunch, and by afternoon they had received all their legal documents, such as voter registration and identity cards.
“I’m going to have a new voter registration card,” Rivadávia said. “That’s why we stayed here.”
Interoperability is key
The objective of Operation Anhanduí is to make sure the Army, Navy and Air Force act in a coordinated and efficient way to defend Brazil’s national territory, and protect civilians, in the event of natural or man-made disasters. A crucial component of this is the use of equipment, combat vehicles, ships and planes in simulation of critical events such as a refugee crisis.
On Oct. 15, a delegation from the Ministry of Defense participated in another series of training activities. In the city of Aquidauana, 135 kilometers from Campo Grande, Army engineers demonstrated the use of the Logistic Support Bridge, used to assist civil defense in emergencies.
Operation Anhanduí concluded in Forte Coimbra, where troops simulated an attack from the water. The operation as a whole is the latest in a series of joint exercises conducted by EMCFA in various regions of Brazil. Last May, EMCFA carried out a similar operation in the Amazon.