880 soldiers in Operation UanFEX-2022 train to act in humanitarian aid actions880 soldiers in Operation UanFEX-2022 train to act in humanitarian aid actions

Fleet ships, in amphibious operations, and assembly of an Advanced Trauma Unit are part of the Operation exercises

By Lieutenant-Captain (RM2-T) Ana Seabra – Rio de Janeiro, RJ

The backdrop for Operation UANFEX-2022 was Marambaia Island, in Rio de Janeiro. Between November 21 and 24, the scenario was composed of 880 military personnel employed in different naval means: the Multipurpose Dock Ship “Bahia”, the Ocean Support Ship “Purus”, 10 Amphibious Caterpillar Carriers, two helicopters, being one UH-15 “Pégasus 02” and one SH-16 “Guerreiro 36”, and Vehicle Landing Craft and General Cargo vessels. 

Considering the Operation’s plot based on a humanitarian aid situation, the exercise also had expressive participation of Marine resources, which included the Landing Force, the Marine Expeditionary Medical Unit, as well as SK-105A2S combat cars and a battery of 105mm Light Gun shells. 

In a peculiar way, the exercise tested the ability of a naval force, already at sea and previously loaded with troops and material, to plan the response to an emergency situation overseas. In this UANFEX, differently from how other operations have occurred this year, the military were subjected to the exercise plot with the ships already away from the headquarters port. In the training, the information received was that it was necessary to reinforce aid to the population of an isolated country, where an international body, equivalent to the UN, was not yet fully established and therefore remained under threat from hostile groups.

The challenge was to assess the terrain, identify the imminent threats, map the action of the military and naval means, plan the access to the place where the population was, enter and leave the affected area safely, identify the wounded and the necessary removals, within 24 hours, safeguarding human life and keeping the Peace Force active. 

After this planning, the action culminated in an Amphibious Incursion, in the Marambaia area, at dawn on November 23. This is how UANFEX-2022 developed, and by talking with those responsible for the exercises, it was possible to realize the importance of the Operation.

Fleet Admiral (FN) Armando, General Commander of the Marine Corps, stated that the “possibility that we have here on Marambaia Island to carry out amphibious exercises is spectacular because we combine our naval means and Marine Corps troops, employing real ammunition (a howitzer and a machine gun).”

The Admiral reinforced that “the employment of live ammunition for the Marine is extremely important. I could say it is vital. We are an extremely professional troop and the proof of this is the intensive use of live ammunition. And here on Marambaia Island, for some time now, we have been using artillery. In the past we used mortar and handguns, but now we are also using the 105 light gun battery. So the possibility that we have to do amphibious projection type exercises, an exercise with a smaller magnitude, is important because the problems that happen are real and will have to be solved during its execution. It is a very big gain every time the Marine comes from the ship to the land. It’s an amphibious conjugate that is our raison d’être!” 

The landing of the Marines allowed for the setting up of an Advanced Trauma Unit (ATU), monitored by the Marine Expeditionary Medical Unit. Sea and War Captain (FN) Gláucio, Commander of the Marine Logistical Battalion, pointed out that the military is prepared to meet the demands of health and civil matters. For this, he explained how a logistical structure was set up, with tents and a CTU, which reinforces the Marines’ capacity for action and fast employment. 

“In this type of operation, with activities involving civilians, we are focusing on health, with the setting up of a CTU, providing support to the affected population and to possible injured people during the execution of the mission. We have support from medical and dental consultations and civic-social actions, in addition to a Civilian and Military Operations Center capable of controlling several other activities aimed at supporting the population,” said Sea and War Captain Gláucio.

According to Rear Admiral Cardoso, Commander of the 1st Fleet Division and responsible for the UANFEX-2022 Task Group, “this Operation marked the end of the training cycle of the Fleet and the Fleet Marine Force. The planning of UANFEX was proposed in order to simulate a situation close to what we may face in reality. We exercised a fast planning method to meet this emergency need and we did an Amphibious Incursion in the Marambaia area, simulating all the preparation for a humanitarian aid.” Vice Admiral Bettega, Commander in Chief of the Fleet, concluded by saying that “Operation UANFEX-2022 was a good way for us to close the training cycle of the Fleet’s means.”

Looking forward

Continuing the training of the Marines the then Vice Admiral (FN) Carlos Chagas, Commander of the Fleet Marine Force (ComFFE), said that until the end of 2022, they will still have two more exercises. Being an Operation “ACISO” (Civic-Social Action) in Itaóca (ES) and the Operation “Furnas”, which is an Operation carried out in Minas Gerais, in the Furnas region. According to the Admiral, throughout this year five amphibious operations were carried out using this integration of Marines and Fleet resources. 

From the standpoint of the Fleet, Vice Admiral Bettega emphasized that “the naval and naval aviation resources of the Fleet are available to the Fleet Marine Corps Command.

*** Translated by the DEFCONPress FYI Team ***

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