Namibian and Cameroonian navies crossed the Atlantic Ocean for the first time for UNITAS LXIIINamibian and Cameroonian navies crossed the Atlantic Ocean for the first time for UNITAS LXIII

Operation comes to an end marked by the interoperability of the countries

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

After almost two weeks of operations at sea, UNITAS LXIII came to an end yesterday (22). The edition hosted in Brazil especially to compose the celebrations of the Bicentennial of our Independence and of the Brazilian Fleet was marked by the interoperability of the 19 countries involved. The presence of navies and representatives from the European, Asian, and African continents provided more diversity, representativeness, and the possibility of new interactions during the exercise.

To accommodate a greater number of navies and in response to the need for joint preparedness in response to the new threats present in the Atlantic, UNITAS 2022 had a task unit focused on maritime security, with the participation of patrol vessels and boarding exercises, shooting with short-range weapons, as well as anti-piracy and environmental pollution prevention. This novelty allowed the participation of navies from Brazil’s strategic surroundings, such as those of the Republics of Namibia and Cameroon, which are located on the west coast of the African continent.

Captain of the Namibian Navy docked at the Rio de Janeiro Naval Base before going on a mission – Image: 3SG (ET) Cassio

They crossed the Atlantic Ocean for the first time, heading to Rio de Janeiro, where the mission began and continued to Espírito Santo. As Rear Admiral Marcelo Menezes Cardoso, Commander of the 1st Fleet Division and of the Task Group recalls, “the participation of the Namibians and Cameroonians deserves to be highlighted. Not only for the recognized effort of crossing the Atlantic, but also for the seriousness, professionalism and care shown from the planning stage to the execution of the exercises at sea.

For Sea and War Captain Simon Kombada, commander of the Namibian Navy’s flagship NS Elephant, participating in UNITAS was doubly important. “Firstly, our participation boosted crew morale and assured us of confidence. Secondly, it enhanced tactical proficiency, capabilities and increased interoperability, as well as showed the competence that the Namibian Navy can have when participating in a joint exercise with other navies.”

Besides the objective of increasing interoperability, UNITAS aimed at other goals, as Rear Admiral Cardoso recalls when he “considers that the main objectives were achieved, among which are the increase of training, the exchange of experiences, the identification of opportunities for cooperation, the confirmation of the capacity of joint operation in security and the consolidation of the bonds of friendship between our navies. 

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

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