Female Officer Commands Platoon in One of Brazilian Navy’s Largest Operations

Operation Formosa, which for the first time had a woman leading a platoon, deployed about 1,900 marines to train with real ammunition.
Andréa Barretto/Diálogo | 3 October 2019

Capacity Building

A total of 1,900 Brazilian Navy service members took part in Operation Formosa 2019, and used real ammunition in all armaments. (Photo: Brazilian Navy)

Operation Formosa 2019 was conducted for the first time with the participation of a woman as commander of an infantry platoon: Brazilian Marine Corps (CFN, in Portuguese) Second Lieutenant Liana Arduíno de Magalhães.

Second Lt. Liana Arduíno de Magalhães who commanded a platoon during Operation Formosa, grants an interview. (Photo: Brazilian Navy)

Operation Formosa is the Brazilian Navy’s (MB, in Portuguese) largest training session in the country’s central region, consisting of a series of warfare exercises conducted in three phases.

Second Lt. Liana, who led a 44-member group through the 10-day exercise, said she took on the responsibility gladly. “I was happy to learn that I would be the commander of the platoon in this operation, because I could apply all the lessons that I learned in expeditionary and amphibious warfare training,” said the officer.

Second Lt. Liana joined CFN in 2001 and became an officer in 2018, after an internal competition. Her duties as commander aren’t new to her, as she has been leading the 3rd Platoon of the Marine Corps’ 1st Company in Rio de Janeiro since the first half of 2019. The officer operated in the field for the first time during Operation Formosa.

The MB-acquired Integrated Marine Corps Command and Control System was tested during Operation Formosa, with the assistance of Israeli civilians. (Photo: Brazilian Navy)

Her responsibilities included carrying out assigned tasks and observing the safety of members of her group. “It was very important to me because I was able to improve technical knowledge within the role of a platoon commander, and realize the relevance of leadership for a group to achieve the desired goals,” 2nd Lt. Liana said.

New technologies

In addition to the 1,900 Brazilian marines, five service members from the U.S., four from Ecuador, and two from Portugal participated as observers in Operation Formosa 2019, carried out July 8-18.

Israeli civilians also participated and guided Brazilian service members on how to use the Integrated Marine Corps Command and Control System (SIC2CFN, in Portuguese). Israeli company Elbit developed the technology that MB recently acquired and tested during Operation Formosa. “The system enables total situational awareness capacity of the entire area of operation. This is a very advanced system, and is currently one of the best in the world,” said Lieutenant General Paulo Martino Zuccaro, Fleet Marine Squad commander.

SIC2CFN works through different communication equipment. It facilitates the management of battlefield activities, data gathering, communication between combat elements, and conducts electronic warfare operations against enemy forces.

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