In a show of international cooperation and a commitment to enhancing military partnership and capabilities, the Brazilian Marine Corps recently hosted an annual planning conference with representatives from U.S. Marine Corps Forces, South October 23-27. The Operational Naval Infantry Committee (ONIC) brought together senior leaders, planning officers, and enlisted members from both nations to discuss future strategies, personnel exchanges, and bilateral training exercises.
The conference, held in the city of Rio de Janeiro, marks a significant step toward bolstering collaboration between two of the Americas’ most prominent military forces. Officials from both sides lauded the initiative, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a robust and unified front in an increasingly complex global security landscape.
Additionally, the ONIC creates a key forum for leaders and planners from the two Marine Corps to discuss and reaffirm mutual security objectives and plan future security cooperation engagements. Building off previous year’s events, the planners solidified the bi-lateral training schedules for the next two years and set a path forward on engagements over the next five years. Since both Marine Corps specialize in amphibious operations, continued and strengthened partnership will bolster both nations’ capabilities in this aspect.
Brazilian Marine Corps Major General Roberto Lemos, commanding general of Doctrine Command, opened the conference with an address highlighting the historic cooperation between the two naval infantry forces. He stated, “The Brazilian Naval Infantry and the United States Marine Corps have a longstanding friendship rooted in mutual respect and shared values. This conference represents our commitment to enhancing our capabilities, increasing interoperability, and strengthening our partnership to meet the evolving security challenges of our time.”
The ONIC focused on how the two Marine Corps can work together to increase interoperability, strengthen the partnership, and achieve force readiness at the same time. During the scheduled events, planners also had in depth discussions about the U.S. Marine Corps Force Design initiative, Brazil’s ground and maritime initiatives, as well as emerging naval concepts that will directly impact both forces.
This upcoming year alone, both Marine Corps plan on conducting at least nine exchanges and training events as well as three larger scale bilateral exercises such as Exercise Formosa and Jungle Warfare Training, and the amphibious operation Exercise Dragão in Brazil. Both countries also participate in the multinational exercise UNITAS every year, which will take place in Chile in 2024.
“Credible amphibious forces are needed now more than ever for maritime nations,” said U.S. Marine Corps Colonel Omar J. Randall, deputy commander for U.S. Marine Corps Forces South. “Both U.S. and Brazilian Marines excel in specialized amphibious operations and strengthening our longstanding partnership will improve our forces’ capabilities.”
The conference featured in-depth discussions on a wide range of topics, including joint training exercises, operational planning, intelligence sharing, and the development of specialized equipment, specifically the U.S. Marine Corps’ “Force Design” concept and how it has shaped the current force. The Brazilian Naval Infantry and the U.S. Marine Corps also explored ways to address emerging threats, such as cyber warfare and non-conventional operations.
“This is about fostering and binding relationships through the entire planning process and execution of our training,” said Maj. Gen. Lemos. “We share the same desire to innovate and be ready for current and future operations in real world events.”
The conference also touched upon topics related to international security and the broader implications of their cooperation. Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to regional stability, as well as their dedication to the principles of democracy, freedom, and the rule of law.
The ONIC not only highlights the significance of the partnership between the U.S. Marine Corps and the Brazilian Naval Infantry but also reinforces their role as key players in safeguarding maritime security in the Americas and beyond.
As the conference drew to a close, the two commanders, Col. Randall and Maj. Gen. Lemos, expressed optimism for the future of this partnership, emphasizing the mutual benefits that would result from closer cooperation and strategic planning.
“We are grateful to have friends like you,” said Col. Randall to the Brazilian Marines. “It is an honor and pleasure to work alongside you and I look forward to the success of these staff talks .”