Not far from the capital of Brazil lies a Brazilian Marine Corps Expeditionary Base. Among the arid red-sand landscape, the Brazilian Marine Corps embarked on the much-anticipated Exercise Formosa in a display of military prowess. The exercise underscores the growing importance of international collaboration in addressing global security challenges and promoting regional stability.
This year’s exercise was marked with tragedy when a Brazilian military helicopter, carrying 14 passengers, crashed. Twelve individuals were rescued, two Brazilians tragically lost their lives.
Brazilian Defense Minister José Múcio Monteiro Filho visited the base the next day to help service members cope with the loss. He said that despite the tragedy and ongoing risk, the Brazilian Marines owed it to their comrades to continue training and fighting to ensure a safer world. He praised the brave and rapid response of medics, drivers, and many other Brazilian service members as they helped save and treat the survivors.
After an operational pause, leadership decided to continue with the infantry training exercise but with a truncated training schedule to ensure safety and readiness of the battalions.
Infantry training exercises are essential for maintaining and improving the readiness and preparedness of the Brazilian Marine Corps. This exercise allows their marines to hone combat skills, test equipment, and practice operating in various terrains and scenarios. Regular training ensures they are prepared.
This training event also marked a milestone for Brazilian military as they continue to work toward more joint operations, allowing different services to work together seamlessly and improve overall military effectiveness. Along with the U.S. Marines from Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, the Brazilian Air Force, Army, and Navy also participated in various training events.
The Formosa exercise, held at Brazil’s premier expeditionary military training facility, offers an ideal platform for the armed forces of both nations to enhance their interoperability, conduct joint military operations, and exchange invaluable insights on tactics and strategies. With the backdrop of an ever-changing global security landscape, the participation of the Camp Pendleton, California-based U.S. Marines and militaries from other nations, including Germany, South Africa, and France, showed commitment to regional security.
The bilateral partnership between Brazil and the United States has continued to strengthen in recent years. U.S. and Brazilian participated together in bilateral jungle warfare training, multiple subject matter expert exchanges, and work together annually during UNITAS — last year’s event occurring in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Through mutual understanding and shared interests, both nations have recognized the importance of cooperating to address common threats, such as transnational organized crime, terrorism, and safeguarding maritime security.
While multiple countries are participating in the exercise and observing, Formosa is the Brazilian Marine Corps’ annual field training exercise.
“Field training exercises are fundamental to the Brazilian Marines’ operational readiness, skill development, and preparedness,” said Brazilian Marine Corps Captain Igor Mombrine. “By engaging in these exercises regularly, the military ensures that its personnel are well-trained, versatile, and ready to fulfill their mission of defending Brazil’s interests at home and potentially abroad.”
Captain Benjamin Fischer, Brazil desk officer with U.S. Marine Corps Forces, South, lauded the Brazil-U.S. partnership, stating: “Our involvement in Exercise Formosa reflects the close collaboration between the United States and Brazil in confronting common security challenges. Together, we reinforce the message that preserving regional stability is a shared responsibility, and our militaries play a crucial role in achieving that objective.”
The U.S Marines participated in many training events throughout the exercise, from M240G medium machine-gun live fire to a notional amphibious landing that included real tactical maneuvers with multiple elements of infantry, Amphibious Armored Vehicles, defensive tactics, and resupplies and relief. Training even included multi-part cognitive courses, designed by the Brazilian Marine Corps.
By engaging in these exercises regularly, the U.S. and Brazilian Marine Corps ensure their personnel are well-trained, versatile and ready to fulfill their mission of defending Brazil’s interests at home and abroad.