Until next Friday naval units from Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Spain and the United States will be participating in the Multinational Exercise Unitas XLVIII in the South Atlantic. The Argentine Navy hosted the flotilla of vessels in Puerto Belgrano before beginning the exercise last Friday May 4. Among the 1.500 men taking part in the war games 900 are from the US.
According to the official report the Argentine Navy is participating with destroyer ARA Almirante Brown, corvettes ARA Gómez Roca and Spiro, logistics vessel ARA Patagonia, submarine ARA Salta and the patrol vessel ARA Teniente Olivieri; Brazil with the frigates BNS Bosisio and BNS Independência; the auxiliary tanker BNS Gastão Motta and the submarine BNS Tapajó.
The US Navy is represented with destroyer USS Mitscher, amphibious vessel USS Pearl Harbor and the frigate USS Samuel B. Roberts; Spain with the frigate FFG Santa Maria and Chile with the frigate FFG Almirante Latorre.
"The exercise is geared to increase the capability of the different navies, a greater regional integration and is also an excellent opportunity to exchange experiences during real multinational operations" indicates the Argentine Navy release adding that coordinated operations between the different navies helps develop compatible systems and thus multinational operations.
This is particularly true when uniformity of procedures are needed to ensure what is described as "cultural interoperability" which means the capacity to operate jointly in spite of differences of technology, equipment and languages.
Unitas exercises were born in 1960 and originally involved the US Navy with all South American navies but on a bilateral relation.
Venezuela was also invited to participate in the naval exercise, but the Chavez administration once again said no to be included in exercises close do ships from Mister Danger, as president Hugo Chavez uses to call US president George W. Bush.