U.S. and Peruvian Marines Prepare for UNITAS 2017

U.S. and Peruvian Marines Prepare for UNITAS 2017

By Julieta Pelcastre/Diálogo
October 31, 2016

QUISIERA OFRECER MIS SERVICIOS CON MIS EMBARCACIONES YA LE DIMES SERVICIO EN EL 2016 CON MI CATAMARAN MIKEIRA Q TIENE CAPACIDAD PARA 90 PERSONAS CORRE 14 NUDOS Y DE MI LANCHA RÁPIDA DE CAPACIDAD PARA 12 PERSONAS LA CUAL CORRE 24 NUDOS , QUERÍA SABER COMO PODER CONTACTARME CON LA PERSONA ENCARGADA OK GRACIAS SOY RENZO NOBLECILLA TEJADA JEFE DE OPERACIONES DE YARDUL MIS EMBARCACIONES CUENTAS CON TODAS LAS COMODIDADES Y SON JATES MI MÓVIL ES 982342965 GRACIAS . A team of 70 combat engineers from the U.S. Marine Corps and 50 members of the recently formed Engineer Battalion of the Peruvian Marine Corps participated in the Koa Moana 2016 joint exercise. As part of the battalion's preparations for UNITAS 2017, a multinational naval exercise, the service members exchanged knowledge to improve their abilities to respond to natural disasters and provide humanitarian aid. From September 2nd – 8th, combat engineers from the two countries engaged in a series of activities on different types of terrain at the Peruvian Marine Corps Base facilities and in the area of Quebrada Inocente in the coastal municipality of Ancón. The exercise included training for natural disasters that endanger public safety, such as earthquakes, torrential rains, floods, and landslides. UNITAS is the U.S. Navy's longest-running maritime exercise. It has taken place annually since 1960 to train and increase inter-operability among the naval forces of each of the Latin American navies. The exercise consists of joint maritime-interdiction operations, transnational organized-crime combat, and anti-surface warfare. UNITAS 2017 will be hosted by Peru. The Peruvian Marine Corps’ exchange of knowledge and experience with their U.S. counterparts during Koa Moana 2016 (“sea warrior” in Hawaiian) has resulted in fast and effective assistance to the civilian population during natural disasters. “This is a part of the preparation of the Peruvian Navy's new combat engineer unit, which will be participating in UNITAS 2017 for the first time,” said Major Armando A. Daviu, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, South Public Affairs Officer, to Diálogo on October 21. “This exercise normally takes place in the Pacific rim. This time we asked the U.S. Marines to have an exchange with our Peruvian counterparts. This exchange does not only show off Peru as a Latin American nation, but also as a nation of the Pacific,” specified Maj. Daviu. During Koa Moana 2016, participants improved their capacities for survival, defensive positions, combat engineering, placement and removal of obstacles, equipment transport, construction of modular bridges and hospitals, checkpoint security, vehicle searches, shooting, use of explosives, operations against improvised explosive devices and saltwater treatment. They also engaged in recreational sports, so as not to neglect their physical fitness. In addition, U.S. Marines also taught Peruvian officials several techniques for stabilizing injured individuals. These techniques are used on the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as in civilian hospitals in the United States. “As host of UNITAS 2017, the Peruvian Navy is considering holding exercises that will serve to standardize procedures and criteria that will allow for joining forces to face humanitarian-aid emergencies together," in order to raise the Engineer Battalion's capability in terms of natural disasters, Rear Admiral Juan Cueva López, commander of the Peruvian Marine Corps, told Diálogo on October 13th. “These exercises are very positive because the world has changed in terms of natural disasters. We must be aware that soldiers are not only trained for war; they are trained for peacekeeping in natural-disaster situations,” said César Ortiz Anderson, security analyst and president of Peru's Pro-Citizen Security Association, to Diálogo. The first structures to suffer damages during a natural disaster are bridges, highways and airports. The armed forces are first to reopen communication in order to provide humanitarian aid and safeguard the affected areas. Although the Engineer Battalion has been focused on the fight against terrorism, the transition to improving human safety and logistics and adapting its organizational structure to this new role was an immediate challenge as the exercise went on. “All the personnel involved efficiently fulfilled their assigned tasks, and it was possible to go through the training without any hitches,” emphasized Rear Adm. Cueva. UNITAS, Koa Moana and other exercises “help us to better understand other regions in case we are called to other areas in the world. You have to remember that many of our Marines have been in Iraq and Afghanistan for the past ten years. Operating in the desert is not the same as in the jungles of the VRAEM, in Peru,” reflected Maj. Daviu. The Peruvian and U.S. Marines also exchanged professional experiences in the Apurímac, Ene and Mantaro River Valley (VRAEM, per its Spanish acronym). The U.S. Marines provide the Peruvian Marine Corps with training as preparation for their deployment in the VRAEM, where the Armed Forces have an operation against Shining Path and drug-trafficking groups. A team of U.S. Marines travels to Peru every six months to complement the training. “Through all these ways of conducting exercises, exchanging experience, developing abilities, obtaining better equipment, and cooperating, we are certain the Peruvian Marine Corps’ Engineer Battalion will be a benchmark for units of this type in the country and the region,” concluded Rear Adm. Cueva. “We will continue our main task geared toward defense.”
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