USS Underwood Concludes UNITAS PAC

USS Underwood Concludes UNITAS PAC

The closing ceremony for the multi-national exercise designed to improve interoperability between the U.S. and South and Central American navies, UNITAS Pacific (PAC), was held in Callao, Peru, May 25.

The Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate USS Underwood (USS 36) represented the U.S. Navy during UNITAS PAC as it conducted operations with warships from Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.

The two-week exercise included maritime interdiction operations, counter-piracy events, air, surface, and anti-submarine warfare. The closing ceremony was held at the Peruvian naval base, as well as a luncheon and a gift and plaque exchange among the commanding officers of each ship.

Following the luncheon, the Peruvian and U.S. navies held the opening ceremony for Silent Forces Exercise (SIFOREX) 2012. The exercise will focus on U.S. and Peruvian surface and air asset training with the Peruvian submarine fleet.

SIFOREX represents to the United States a wonderful opportunity to train in an area where over the years, I don’t think we’ve done enough of it,” said Rear Adm. Anatolio ‘A.B.’ Cruz, deputy commander of Commander U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command, Commander Fourth Fleet.

The three-day exercise will take place off the coast and will focus on anti-submarine warfare.

“Anti-submarine warfare is the area we continue to practice, to work with the Peruvian navy, to ensure that we not only operate together, but we learn together,” said Cruz. “Peru has a wonderful submarine fleet, one to be very proud of. It is a wonderful opportunity for the United States to be able to operate with such an elite submarine force.”

Underwood is representing the U.S. Navy during UNITAS PAC and SIFOREX in support of Southern Seas 2012.

U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet (COMUSNAVSO/C4F) 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 31, 2012; Image: US Navy