Planners from U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. Fourth Fleet (USNAVSO/4th Fleet) and U.S. Marine Corps Forces, South (MARFORSOUTH) participated in a Brazilian Navy maritime engagement aboard the Brazilian Naval frigate União (F 45) off the northeast coast of Brazil, October 27 to November 5.
The two U.S. officers are subject matter experts in amphibious operations, speak Portuguese, and have significant experience in the region (as foreign area officers for Latin America). They embarked and integrated with the Brazilian Navy and Marine Corps for 10 days at sea in order to observe their planning process, exchange best practices, and increase interoperability between the two nations. This event marks the first time U.S. military personnel have served as subject matter experts aboard the Brazilian frigate União and highlights increased opportunities for U.S. Navy and Marine Corps integration into both planning and execution of future events with the Brazilian Navy.
“This is a significant occasion for our militaries and shows how strong our partnership is,” said Lieutenant Commander Windsor Frinell, theater security cooperation officer with USNAVSO/4th Fleet. “Not only are we friends and neighbors, we are a team who is more resilient and capable of confronting shared challenges and threats together.”
Throughout the planning exercise, the U.S. officers worked alongside their Brazilian counterparts to develop interoperability and understand similarities and differences between the U.S and Brazilian Navy, naval infantries, and ships. The two countries exchanged several informational and operational briefs on topics relevant to their missions, design and future goals. Some of these topics included: ship capabilities and limitations, maritime security, patrol and air operations, organization and training programs, cyber defense, and regional concerns.
“The Brazilian Navy is an extremely capable force and strategic ally in the [U.S. Southern Command] area of responsibility,” said Lieutenant Colonel Michael Aubry, theater security cooperation branch head with MARFORSOUTH. “Our ability to work together and learn from each other is critical to the security and stability of the region.”
In 2019, the U.S. designated Brazil as a Major Non-NATO Ally, and this status provides foreign partners with the designation of certain benefits in the areas of defense, trade, and security cooperation.
This planning engagement on the Brazilian ship emphasizes the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps’ pursuit of increased naval integration. On November 4, the commanders of USNAVSO/4th Fleet and MARFORSOUTH signed an integrated Maritime Campaign Support Plan that brings the two U.S. units together for closer coordination in future operations and activities that will maximize the collective strengths with partner nations and reinforce the United States’ reputation as a highly trusted and impactful partner.