Peruvian Armed Forces Prepare for El Niño During CÁCERES 2015

Peruvian Armed Forces Prepare for El Niño During CÁCERES 2015

By Dialogo
December 28, 2015

The reports are very short. It feels as if they weren't completed, that they didn't have an end. Marshal Andrés Avelino Cáceres Dorregaray, nicknamed el Taita (Father) or the Wizard of the Andes, never surrendered and created Armies out of nothing and terrified his enemy, was victorious in the Battles of Tarapacá, Marcavalle, Púcara and Concepción, showed in the Breña campaign what it means to be Peruvian. Now we are 30 million Cáceres, a good name was chosen for the operations.

Peru's Army, Navy, and Air Force (FAP, for its Spanish acronym) successfully tested the capabilities of newly acquired military equipment and officers' leadership abilities during the CÁCERES 2015 exercise at the Arica barracks of Locumba in the region of Tacna and in Puerto de Ilo, Moquegua, earlier this month.

“This type of operation is very important because it allows us to enhance our operational capabilities, thereby putting us in a better position to effectively address the various threats and risks that undermine security and national development,” said Lieutenant General Rodolfo García Esquerre, the FAP's Operations Commander, in an interview with Diálogo
. “Such threats include terrorism, the illegal trafficking of drugs, illegal mining, and risks posed by natural disasters.”

Preparing for El Niño

El Niño, a meteorological phenomenon that appears about every three to eight years, also threatens Peru. El Niño causes changes in ocean currents, which in turn creates dramatic alterations in the weather that have led to droughts, floods, and, on occasion, the loss of certain species of fish. The last time El Niño affected Peru was in 1998, when it primarily impacted the Pacific coast regions of Tumbes, Piura, Lambayeque, La Libertad, and Ica.

“We are only several weeks out from facing the El Niño phenomenon," Lt. Gen. García Esquerre said. "It is not known precisely what its magnitude will be, but we have to be prepared for it."

During CÁCERES 2015, which included drills in aerial support, disembarking from Zodiac boats, parachute jumps, and other skills, “we have acquired a new capability of escorting an external load of great weight and volume with fine precision to be able to use them for humanitarian relief during the El Niño phenomenon”.

Service members, who received aerial support from the FAP, used vehicles designed for tough terrain during the exercises. The Army also tested 80-, 107-, and 120-millimeter shells, mortars, and next generation machine guns.

This exercise gives “us an opportunity to put various weapons systems and our doctrine to the test. We are also able to test or put into practice our tactics, which truly represent a summation of efforts and collaborative work – and all this toward the desired effect of pursuing common goals."

Meanwhile, the Navy conducted amphibious assault, raid, and retreat drills in addition to helicopter transport and airmobile exercises, parachute jumps, landings, and operations with modern, amphibious vehicles.

FAP combat demonstrations

During the first day of the two-day exercise, the FAP conducted maneuverability and versatility demonstrations with combat, reconnaissance, transport, and instructional aircraft. It also launched bombs and rockets among other weapons, and had its Special Forces conduct military exercises.

“What this kind of joint exercise is all about is striking that ideal balance between the capabilities of the Peruvian Navy, Army, and Air Force that will benefit Peru’s security,” Lt. Gen. García Esquerre stated.