Aspirantex 2023: The first Squadron operation of the year comes to an endAspirantex 2023: The first Squadron operation of the year comes to an end

At the end of the commission, the Naval School midshipmen made their career choices

By First Lieutenant (RM2-T) Thaís Cerqueira – Rio de Janeiro, RJ

After more than two weeks of advanced exercises at sea, the first operation of the year involving the resources of the Brazilian Navy Fleet (MB), Aspirantex 2023, comes to an end today (01). The mission, carried out in the area between the states of Rio de Janeiro and Santa Catarina, was marked by the participation of 291 midshipmen from the Naval Academy on board the five naval resources involved, in addition to more than two thousand military personnel. 

The Aspirantex has a special relevance because it allows midshipmen from the Naval Academy, from the first to the third year, to become familiar with life at sea, besides being a decisive moment for the second year midshipmen who, at the end of the commission, will make their professional choices among the Navy, Marine Corps, and MB intendants. For the Fleet, it marks the beginning of the annual training cycle for its ships and aircraft, operating as a Task Group.

Throughout the period from January 16th to February 1st, thirty different types of exercises were carried out, such as qualification and requalification of landing on board (QRPB), cyber warfare actions, transit under air threat, amphibious demonstration, transit with surface opposition, transfer of light cargo, training with pyrotechnics, arming and disarming aircraft, shooting at a “killer tomato” with a 40mm machine gun – the “killer tomato” is an inflatable orange target that is launched into the sea for shooting exercises – among others. 

One of the differentials this year was the launching of cargo by aircraft of the Brazilian Air Force (FAB). On the occasion, the FAB’s “C-130 Hercules” aircraft launched a cargo into the sea, while an MB aircraft, the UH-12 “Esquilo” took off from the “Defensora” Frigate, doing a “vertrep”. This exercise allowed to increase interoperability between the Forces, expanding the possibilities of action in a possible need to receive supplies by air at any time, for example.

Another training exercise was aimed at a possible need for rescue of victims in case of “large-scale shipwreck rescue”, which serves to train the standard procedure for a rescue need to a number of people above the commonly practiced.

During Aspirantex, there was also the launching of four “Aspide” anti-aircraft missiles with the Albatros system. According to the Commander of the Independence Frigate, Frigate Captain Ademar Augusto Simões Junior, this type of training reinforces the training of the means and personnel involved. “Missile launching requires both logistical and personnel preparation, and we had that. The proof was the success that was achieved, accomplishing the task and launching four missiles that shot down the air targets,” he comments.

During the mission, the ships also reinforced the security of the Exclusive Economic Zone in the Santos Basin region (SP), which produces oil and natural gas in Brazil. The presence action in that part of the Blue Amazon reaffirms the concern of the MB to protect the riches, ensure sovereignty, and defend the economic interests of Brazil.

Visit to the shipyard where the “Tamandaré Class” frigates are being built

On January 20th, authorities and midshipmen from the Naval School visited the Thyssenkrupp Brasil Sul Shipyard, in Itajaí (SC). At the site, they were able to see up close how the construction process of four warships, which will be part of the Brazilian Navy’s Fleet – “Tamandaré Class” frigates – is going.

The MB has been conducting the “Tamandaré Class” Frigates Program since 2017, with the aim of promoting the renewal of the Fleet with modern ships of high technological complexity, built in the country. These ships, scheduled for delivery between 2025 and 2029, will have high combat power and will be able to protect the extensive Brazilian maritime area, conduct search and rescue operations, and meet international commitments, for example.

Dialog about the careerDuring the entire commission, always towards the end of the day, the midshipmen watched interactive presentations with older officers, when they could ask questions and get to know better the career and the personal stories of those who have already gone through many challenges and achievements that they will still experience.

The following were part of the Operation

  • Multipurpose Aircraft Ship “Atlântico
  • Multipurpose Dock Ship “Bahia
  • Frigate “Defensora”; Frigate “Liberal”; Frigate “Independência”;
  • Combat Diver Group
  • Aircrafts “Super Cougar” (UH-15 and AH-15B), “Seahawk” (SH-16), “Super Lynx”(AH-11B), “Esquilo” (UH-12), “Skyhawk” (AF-1) and Bell Jet Ranger III (IH-6B);
  • Amphibious Caterpillar Carriers (CLAnf);
  • Aircraft of the Brazilian Air Force (P-95 and C-130)

Source: Agência Marinha de Notícias *** Translated by the DEFCONPress FYI Team ***

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