UNITAS 2016 was a multinational maritime exercise conducted to enhance security cooperation and improve coalition operations. Held off the coast of Panama from Sept. 18 - 28, 2016, UNITAS trained forces from the Western Hemisphere in a variety of maritime scenarios. Ships, aircraft and personnel from the U.S. and 10 countries participated in the exercise.


This year’s exercise, hosted by Panama, was designed to train each navy and public security force to conduct joint naval operations, through the execution of littoral warfare, anti-piracy, maritime interdiction operations, countering transnational organized crime, anti-surface warfare, electronic warfare, communications exercises and air operations in order to increase interoperability and capability between participating naval forces.

Participating Nations

Naval, maritime and public security forces from the United States, Panama, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico and Peru participated in UNITAS 2016. Personnel from Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, and United Kingdom also took part within the multinational staff element.

U.S. Forces in UNITAS 2016



  • Joint Task Force-Bravo

  • Naval Special Warfare Unit (NSWU) 4

  • V Bat UAS Detachment

  • Puma UAS Detachment from Aerovironment

  • U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet

  • Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 40


UNITAS, which is Latin for “unity,” was first executed in 1960 and has been held every year since. This year marks the 57th iteration of the world’s longest running annual multinational maritime exercise.

UNITAS develops and sustains relationships that improve the capacity of our emerging and enduring partners’ maritime forces to achieve common desired effects. This annual exercise fosters friendly, mutual cooperation and understanding between participating navies and public security forces.