UNITAS LXII, a Hemispheric Link

UNITAS LXII, a Hemispheric Link

By Pedro Hurtado Cánepa/Diálogo
October 18, 2021

Naval forces from 20 countries took part in exercise UNITAS LXII, in Bahía Salinas, Peru, September 24-October 6, 2021.

UNITAS took place during the celebrations of the Peruvian Navy’s bicentennial, and more than 32 vessels, four submarines, 26 aircraft, and 5,700 service members from different countries participated, U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) reported

“[UNITAS] operations took place for the first time in Venezuelan jurisdictional waters, on August 28, 1960, and aim to train, educate, build cooperation, and establish bonds of trust among the navies of the region, alternating its headquarters each year. Operations have gradually expanded to different aspects of maritime warfare, adapting to changes in world scenarios and to the emergence of so-called new threats,” the Peruvian Navy reported on its website.

A U.S. Navy landing craft arrives at Bahía Salinas, north of Lima, the designated site for UNITAS LXII, on September 27, 2021. (Photo: U.S. Southern Command)

According to the U.S. Navy, representatives from Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Germany, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Uruguay attended this year’s edition.

During the exercise, participants carried out different operations, such as anti-aircraft, anti-surface, and anti-submarine warfare; maritime interdiction; asymmetric operations; amphibious landing; humanitarian assistance operations; disaster response; and operations in riverine jungle areas, among others, the Chilean Navy said on its website.

The Mexican Navy said that “the operations took place on the coasts of Callao and in the Iquitos jungle, providing an excellent opportunity to use combat tactics in hard-to-reach environments and to improve participants’ response capabilities.”

U.S., Brazilian, Chilean, Colombian, Mexican, Peruvian, and Jamaican troops simulate an attack on a beach, during exercise UNITAS LXII, on September 28, 2021. (Photo: U.S. Southern Command)

The newspaper El Peruano reported that operations started with high-altitude parachute jumps with oxygen equipment, followed by naval artillery fire and aerial fire support for obstacle reconnaissance and destruction.

“Minutes later, military personnel carried out troop insertion operations from aircraft and by fast rope from helicopters, as well as destruction of underwater obstacles, among other exercises that enabled the landing of troops and maritime units,” El Peruano added.

“This operation demonstrates the cooperation and coordination existing among all the countries to be prepared and confront any threat that jeopardizes the security and stability of the countries in this region,” Peruvian Navy Captain Eduardo Díaz León, landing force commander, said.