Peru: UNITAS PAC Participants Prepare for Advanced Phase

UNITAS PAC Participants Prepare for Advanced Phase

Commanding officers of the Chilean, Colombian, Mexican, Peruvian and U.S. Navy ships participating in UNITAS Pacific (PAC) gathered aboard Peruvian frigate Mariategui (FM 54) for a mid-exercise brief, May 19.

The agenda included debriefs of the work-up phase of UNITAS PAC and an exchange of plans for the upcoming “exercise scenario phase” (ESP).

“We have worked at the basic level of operations with our partner nations such as gunnery exercises and we have worked with each nation’s helicopters to come to a common procedural understanding,” said Cmdr. Peter T. Mirisola, commanding officer of Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate USS Underwood (FFG 36).

During the “hot wash” debrief, each nation discussed improving communication procedures and enhancing interoperability.

“When you bring the different capabilities with different navies, it is difficult at first, but we eventually overcame those problems and operated successfully at sea,” said Mirisola.

The ESP began May 21 and includes maritime interdiction operations, anti-submarine warfare scenarios, counter-piracy operations, and other training scenarios.

“It is the next level of complexity for us and our partner nation navies to work as a cohesive unit and communicate better with each other in order to accomplish our mission,” said Mirisola. “The crew is well prepared for these exercises and they get more proficient as they complete more operations at sea.”

Underwood is representing the U.S. Navy during the 53rd iteration of UNITAS 2012 and is deployed to Central and South America and the Caribbean in support of Southern Seas 2012.

U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet supports USSOUTHCOM joint and combined full-spectrum military operations by providing principally sea-based, forward presence to ensure freedom of maneuver in the maritime domain, to foster and sustain cooperative relationships with international partners and to fully exploit the sea as maneuver space in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions.

Naval Today Staff, May 22, 2012; Image: US Navy