UNITAS 2017 was a multinational maritime exercise conducted to enhance security cooperation and improve coalition operations. Held in Peru from July 17-26, 2017, UNITAS trained forces from the Western Hemisphere in a variety of maritime scenarios. Ships, aircraft and personnel from the U.S. and 18 countries took part in the exercise.

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UNITAS Pacific 2017

While participating in UNITAS 2017, U.S. forces were under the operational control of Commander, Task Force (CTF) 138, Rear Adm. Sean Buck, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet. The Combined Landing Force was under the command of Capitan de Navío Victor Robles, Peruvian Marine Corps, with Marine Col. Paul Konopka as his deputy.

The overall objective of UNITAS was to increase interoperability among participating navies. UNITAS enables the assembled forces to organize and conduct combined naval operations in a multinational task force and test their responsiveness.

While the overarching goal was to develop and test command and control of forces at-sea, training in the exercise also addressed the spectrum of maritime operations. Specifically, there were scenarios addressing electronic warfare, anti-air warfare and air defense, anti-surface warfare, maritime interdiction, and amphibious operations.

Participating Countries

The United States, Peru, Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Australia, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Italy, Panama, Mexico, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

Participating U.S. Forces

  • USS Somerset (LPD 25)
  • USS Chafee (DDG 90)
  • USCGC Escanaba (WMEC 907)
  • Destroyer Squadron 40 (DESRON 40) from Mayport, Florida
  • EODGRU-1, BQM-74 Target Drone Detachment from NAVAIR
  • U.S. Marine Forces South (MARFORSOUTH)
  • MDSU
  • CPR-1
  • U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. Fourth Fleet (USNAVSO/FOURTHFLT)


UNITAS, which is Latin for “unity,” was first executed in 1960 and has been held every year since. This year marked the 58th 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.

UNITAS Amphibious 2017

U.S. Marine Corps Forces, South, in conjunction with USNAVSO/FOURTHFLT, the Peruvian navy and marines, and other regional partner nations conducted UNITAS Amphibious in the vicinity of Callao, Ancón and Salinas de Huacho, Peru.

UNITAS Amphibious was designed to enhance interoperability and improve partner nations’ ability to plan combined amphibious operations, stability operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions in the region, and further develop common practices and procedures that result in common doctrine for use in future operations.

Previously known as Partnership of the Americas, the U.S. Marine Corps’ UNITAS Amphibious exercise began in 2006 as a company-level, multinational exchange exercise during which a Marine Corps unit traveled to Chile and subsequently Peru to conduct military-to-military exchanges.

UNITAS Amphibious 2017 Participating Nations

Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay, United Kingdom, and the United States.

U.S. Forces in UNITAS 2017 Amphibious

  • United States Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) (Doral, Florida)
  • U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command (4th Fleet) Navy South (Mayport, Florida)
  • U.S. Marine Corps Forces, South (Doral, Florida)
  • Marine Forces Reserve (MARFORRES) (New Orleans, Louisiana)
  • 14th Marine Regiment, Marine Forces Reserve (Fort Worth, Texas)
  • 3rd Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment, Marine Forces Reserve (Bridgeton, Missouri)
  • 4th Marine Logistics Group, Marine Forces Reserve (New Orleans, Louisiana)
  • 4th Civil Affairs Group, Marine Forces Reserve (Hialeah, Florida)
  • 4th Assault Amphibian Battalion, Marine Forces Reserve (Tampa, Florida)
  • Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Miramar, California)
  • 3rd Force Reconnaissance Company, Marine Forces Reserve (Mobile, Alabama)
  • USS Somerset, Amphibious Squadron 5 (San Diego, California)