UNITAS is a longstanding, multinational maritime exercise conducted annually in Latin America and the Caribbean to enhance security cooperation and improve coalition operations. Hosted by the Colombian navy from Aug. 31 - Sept. 11, 2018, UNITAS Pacific 2018 included forces conducting operations in the Western Caribbean Sea. Ships, aircraft and personnel from 11 countries, including the United States, took part in the exercise. UNITAS Amphib 2018, hosted by Brazil, was a tabletop exercise completed Aug. 25.

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UNITAS 2018 News

UNITAS Pacific 2018

UNITAS strengthens international maritime partnerships, enhances interoperability, and improves the readiness of participating forces for a wide range of potential operations.

While the overarching goal was to develop and test command and control of forces at-sea, UNITAS Pacific training 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.

UNITAS’ challenging training addresses key aspects of multinational and combined operations such as technology standardization and common operating procedures. The improvement of these aspects results in greater interoperability in the region.

Participating Countries

Naval forces from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, and the United Kingdom took part.

Participating U.S. Forces

  • USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44)
  • U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Tahoma (WMEC 908)
  • Destroyer Squadron 40
  • Navy Mobile Diving and Salvaging Unit 1
  • Naval Air Systems Command BQM-7E Drone Detachment
  • Aerosonde UAS
  • Patrol Squadron 45
  • U.S. 4th Fleet

UNITAS Amphib 2018

U.S. Marines and Sailors with U.S. Marine Corps Forces, South and Fourth Fleet joined with service members from nine partner nations to conduct exercise UNITAS Amphibious 2018 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 20-25, 2018. 

UNITAS Amphib is an annual exercise designed to enhance interoperability between participating maritime forces with a focus on multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. 

The exercise rotates between a tabletop and live exercise each year. UNITAS Amphib 2018 was a tabletop exercise, hosted by Brazil. The procedures and processes solidified during this year’s iteration will be used to inform the field training exercise of UNITAS Amphib 2019, once again hosted by Brazil.

The intent for next year’s live event is to embark participating partners at sea. This will serve as a proof of concept for establishing interoperability amongst the region’s navies – and ultimately the development of a standing multinational maritime task force postured to respond to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief situations throughout the region.  

UNITAS Amphib 2018 Participating Nations

Planners from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal and the United States took part in the exercise.


UNITAS, which is Latin for “unity,” was first executed in 1960 and has been held every year since. This year marked the 59th iteration of the world’s longest running annual multinational maritime exercise.  This annual exercise fosters friendly, mutual cooperation and understanding between participating navies and public security forces. 

UNITAS has evolved over many years and now includes training for 21st century threats encountered in today’s maritime environment, along with essential seamanship and navigation skills, which are core competencies for the maritime services.