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UNITAS 2018

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.

Recent Photos

U.S. Soldiers fast-rope from a helicopter onto the flight deck of the USS Gunston Hall.
CARIBBEAN SEA (Sept. 8, 2018) U.S. Soldiers fast-rope on the flight deck of the Whidbey Island-Class Dock Landing Ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) during UNITAS 2018. UNITAS is an annual international exercise in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility where partner nations participate in multinational... ...More
Sailors prepare a beach for landing in Cartagena, Colombia for a humanitarian assistance training exercise.
CARTAGENA, Colombia (Sept. 8, 2018) Sailors with a landing craft utility (LCU) attached to Beachmaster Unit 2 prepare a beach for landing in Cartagena, Colombia for a humanitarian assistance training exercise during UNITAS 2018. UNITAS is an annual international exercise in the U.S. Southern Command area of... ...More
Simulated casualties await treatment during a humanitarian assistance training exercise for UNITAS 2018.
CARTAGENA, Colombia (Sept. 8, 2018) Simulated casualties await treatment during a humanitarian assistance training exercise for UNITAS 2018. UNITAS is an annual international exercise in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility where partner nations participate in multinational exchanges to enhance... ...More
A landing craft utility prepares to land on the beach in Cartagena, Colombia for a humanitarian assistance training exercise
CARTAGENA, Colombia (Sept. 8, 2018) A landing craft utility (LCU) attached to Beachmaster Unit 2 prepares to land on the beach in Cartagena, Colombia for a humanitarian assistance training exercise during UNITAS 2018. UNITAS is an annual international exercise in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility where... ...More
A landing craft utility attached to Beachmaster Unit 2 prepares to land on the beach in Cartagena, Colombia for a humanitarian assistance training exercise.
CARTAGENA, Colombia (Sept. 8, 2018) A landing craft utility (LCU) attached to Beachmaster Unit 2 prepares to land on the beach in Cartagena, Colombia for a humanitarian assistance training exercise during UNITAS 2018. UNITAS is an annual international exercise in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility where... ...More
Colombian marines treat a simulated casualty during a humanitarian assistance training exercise for UNITAS 2018.
CARTAGENA, Colombia (Sept. 8, 2018) Colombian marines treat a simulated casualty during a humanitarian assistance training exercise for UNITAS 2018. UNITAS is an annual international exercise in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility where partner nations participate in multinational exchanges to enhance... ...More
Colombian Marines fast-rope from a helicopter onto the flight deck of USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) during UNITAS 2018.
CARIBBEAN SEA (Sept. 8, 2018) Colombian Marines fast-rope onto the flight deck of Whidbey Island-Class Dock Landing Ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) during UNITAS 2018. UNITAS is an annual international exercise in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility where partner nations participate in multinational... ...More
Rear Admiral Linda Wackerman speaks during the closing ceremony of UNITAS 2018.
CARTAGENA, Colombia (Sept. 11, 2018) Rear Admiral Linda Wackerman speaks during the closing ceremony of UNITAS 2018. UNITAS is an annual international exercise in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility where partner nations participate in multinational exchanges to enhance interoperability, increase regional... ...More
Multinational sailors stand for the Colombian national anthem during the closing ceremony of UNITAS 2018
CARTAGENA, Colombia (Sept. 11, 2018) Multinational sailors stand for the Colombian national anthem during the closing ceremony of UNITAS 2018. UNITAS is an annual international exercise in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility where partner nations participate in multinational exchanges to enhance... ...More
U.S. Army pilots fly an Army UH-60L helicopter towards USS Gunston Hall
CARTAGENA, Colombia (Sept. 8, 2018) – U.S. Army pilots assigned to Joint Task Force (JTF) Bravo, fly an Army UH-60L helicopter towards USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) to conduct fast rope exercises with U.S. and Colombian forces, JTF Bravo is participating in the annual exercise UNITAS LIX. The annual international maritime... ...More
A U.S. Soldier observes the flight line from an Army UH-60L helicopter prior to takeoff.
CARTAGENA, Colombia (Sept. 8, 2018) - U.S. Army Spc. Johnathan Daniels, assigned to Joint Task Force (JTF) Bravo, observes the flight line from an Army UH-60L helicopter prior to takeoff, JTF Bravo is participating in the annual exercise UNITAS LIX. The annual international maritime exercise focuses on strengthening... ...More
U.S. and Colombian forces conduct fast rope exercises from an Army UH-60L helicopter aboard USS Gunston Hall.
CARTAGENA, Colombia (Sept. 8, 2018) - U.S. and Colombian forces conduct fast rope exercises from an Army UH-60L helicopter aboard USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44), the training exercise is in conjunction with UNITAS LIX. The annual international maritime exercise focuses on strengthening regional partnerships and encourages... ...More
U.S. and Colombian forces conduct fast rope exercises from an Army UH-60L helicopter.
CARTAGENA, Colombia (Sept. 8, 2018) - U.S. and Colombian forces conduct fast rope exercises from an Army UH-60L helicopter, this training exercise is in conjunction with UNITAS LIX. The annual international maritime exercise focuses on strengthening regional partnerships and encourages establishing new relationships... ...More
A U.S. Soldier observes USS Gunston Hall from aboard an Army UH-60L helicopter.
CARTAGENA, Colombia (Sept. 8, 2018) - U.S. Army Spc. Dominic Decapria, assigned to Joint Task Force Bravo, observes USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) from an Army UH-60L helicopter. The annual international maritime exercise focuses on strengthening regional partnerships and encourages establishing new relationships through... ...More
U.S. and Colombian forces conduct fast rope exercises from an Army UH-60L helicopter aboard USS Gunston Hall.
CARTAGENA, Colombia (Sept. 8, 2018) - U.S. and Colombian forces conduct fast rope exercises from an army UH-60L helicopter aboard USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44), the training exercise is in conjunction with UNITAS LIX. The annual international maritime exercise focuses on strengthening regional partnerships and encourages... ...More
U.S. and multinational Sailors work at desks on USS Gunston Hall.
CARIBBEAN SEA (Sept. 5, 2018) Lt. j.g. Jaime Bromley works with international staff aboard the Whidbey Island-Class Dock Landing Ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) during UNITAS 2018. UNITAS is an annual international exercise in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility where partner nations participate in... ...More
The ARC Almirante Padilla (FM-51) sails alongside the USS Gunston Hall for a replenishment at sea exercise during UNITAS 2018.
CARIBBEAN SEA (Sept. 5, 2018) The ARC Almirante Padilla (FM-51) sails alongside the Whidbey Island-Class Dock Landing Ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) for a replenishment at sea exercise during UNITAS 2018. UNITAS is an annual international exercise in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility where partner... ...More
A U.S. Navy officer on USS Gunston Hall observes as the ARC Almirante Padilla sails alongside.
CARIBBEAN SEA (Sept. 5, 2018) Cmdr. Fiona Halbritter, commanding officer of the Whidbey Island-Class Dock Landing Ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44), observes as the ARC Almirante Padilla (FM-51) sails alongside the Gunston Hall for a replenishment at sea exercise during UNITAS 2018. UNITAS is an annual international... ...More
A Royal Canadian Navy officer and an Ecuadorian Navy officer review a schedule of events while aboard USS Gunston Hall.
CARIBBEAN SEA (Sept. 5, 2018) Lt. Ricardo Aguirre, Royal Canadian Navy, left, and LCDR Rony Najera, Ecuadorian Navy, review the schedule of events in the international workspace aboard the Whidbey Island-Class Dock Landing Ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) during UNITAS 2018. UNITAS is an annual international exercise in... ...More
The Coast Guard Cutter Tahoma arrives in Cartagena, Colombia for the annual UNITAS exercise
The Coast Guard Cutter Tahoma, a 270-foot cutter homeported in Maine, arrives in Cartagena, Colombia for the annual UNITAS exercise Aug. 30, 2018. UNITAS is a series of high-tech surface, air and under-sea naval exercises designed to strengthen multinational cooperation and interoperability in support of the U.S.... ...More
A U.S. Navy Sailor  helps a student at Gimnasio Cristiano de Bocachica children’s school open his lunch bag.
CARTAGENA, Colombia (Sept. 3, 2018) - Chief Gunner's Mate Merle Albright, assigned to U.S. 4th Fleet, prepares to help a student at Gimnasio Cristiano de Bocachica children’s school open his lunch during a community relations event as part of the annual exercise UNITAS LIX. The annual international maritime exercise... ...More
Colombian Marine Cadets stand in formation aboard USS Gunston Hall.
CARTAGENA, Colombia (Sept. 4, 2018) Colombian Marine Cadets stand in formation as the Whidbey Island-Class Dock Landing Ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) goes underway to begin the at-sea portion of UNITAS 2018. UNITAS is an annual international exercise in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility where partner... ...More
A U.S. Navy sailor  hands out candy to local children at Gimnasio Cristiano de Bocachica children’s school.
CARTAGENA, Colombia (Sept. 3, 2018) - Lt. Carmen Davis, U.S. 4th Fleet medical planner, hands out candy to local children during a community relations (COMREL) event at Gimnasio Cristiano de Bocachica children’s school, the COMREL is part of the annual exercise UNITAS LIX. The annual international maritime exercise... ...More
USS Gunston Hall gets underway in Colombia.
CARTAGENA, Colombia (Sept. 4, 2018) Sailors aboard the Whidbey Island-Class Dock Landing Ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) man the rails as the ship goes underway to begin the at-sea portion of UNITAS 2018. UNITAS is an annual international exercise in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility where partner... ...More
A U.S. Navy diver prepares to dive.
CARTAGENA, Colombia (Sept. 4, 2018) - Navy Diver 1st Class Jason Andritsch, left, and Navy Diver 1st Class Enrique Escoto, prepare for diving operations by conducting physical checks to Escoto's gear prior to jumping into the water during UNITAS LIX. The annual international maritime exercise focuses on strengthening... ...More
Military members meet at a large table.
CARTAGENA, Colombia (Sept. 1, 2018) Multinational service members participate in a maritime interdiction operations (MIO) symposium during UNITAS 2018 in Cartagena, Colombia. UNITAS is an annual international exercise in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility where partner nations participate in... ...More
U.S. Navy divers prepare for a dive in Colombia.
CARTAGENA, Colombia (Sept. 4, 2018) - Navy Diver 1st Class Jason Andritsch, left, and Navy Diver 1st Class Enrique Escoto, prepare for diving operations by reviewing mandatory checklists AND Escoto’s equipment prior to jumping into the water during exercise UNITAS LIX. The annual international maritime exercise... ...More
Colombian board USS Gunston Hall.
CARTAGENA, Colombia (Sept. 3, 2018) Colombian cadets come aboard the Whidbey Island-Class Dock Landing Ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) for UNITAS 2018. UNITAS is an annual international exercise in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility where partner nations participate in multinational exchanges to enhance... ...More
Military officials listen to a briefing
A group of U.S. Coast Guard, Navy and international mariners from all over the world listen to U.S. Coast Guard Cmdr. Tim Williamson as he gives a presentation on maritime interdiction and operations in Cartagena, Colombia for the annual UNITAS exercise Sept. 1, 2018. UNITAS is a series of high-tech surface, air and... ...More
Rear Adm. Sean Buck delivers remarks during the opening ceremony for UNITAS LIX military exercise.
CARTAGENA, Colombia (Aug. 31, 2018) - Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet, Rear Adm. Sean Buck delivers remarks during the opening ceremony for UNITAS LIX. The overarching goal of UNITAS LIX is to develop and test command and conrol of forces at sea with multinational maritime forces, training... ...More
Service members from 10 countries pose for a photo
Service members from 10 countries pose for a photo following the final brief for UNITAS Amphibious in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 24, 2018. The knowledge gained and procedures put in place during this year’s tabletop exercise will inform the UNITAS Amphibious field training exercise in 2019. The intent for next... ...More
U.S. Marine Maj. Gen. David G. Bellon speaks.
U.S. Marine Maj. Gen. David G. Bellon, the acting military deputy commander for U.S. Southern Command, speaks to service members from 10 countries following the final brief for UNITAS Amphibious in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 24, 2018. The knowledge gained and procedures put in place during this year’s tabletop... ...More
Military officials talk.
Lino Miani, a humanitarian assistance advisor with the U.S. Agency for International Development's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, speaks to Colombian Naval Infantry Maj. Gen. Ricardo Vargas, the commander of the Naval Infantry Training Base in Covenas, Colombia, following the final brief for UNITAS... ...More
Brazilian Naval Infantry Rear Adm. Nelio de Almeida speaks to U.S. Marine Col. Kevin Jarrard
Brazilian Naval Infantry Rear Adm. Nelio de Almeida, the commander of Marine Doctrine Training Command, speaks to U.S. Marine Col. Kevin Jarrard, the deputy chief of staff for U.S. Marine Corps Forces, South, following the final brief for UNITAS Amphibious in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 24, 2018. The knowledge gained... ...More
The official UNITAS 2018 logo
The official UNITAS 2018 logo. (DoD image)
USS Gunston Hall pulls in to Santa Marta, Colombia for a scheduled port visit.
SANTA MARTA, Colombia (Aug. 25, 2018) The Whidbey Island-Class Dock Landing Ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) pulls in to Santa Marta, Colombia for a scheduled port visit. The ship is on deployment supporting Southern Seas, which is an annual collaborative deployment in the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility... ...More
An Ecuador Navy Captain talks to a U.S. Marine
Ecuador Navy Capt. Julio Cabrera talks to a U.S. Marine about a concept of operations during a planning team meeting as part of UNITAS Amphibious in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 23, 2018. The knowledge gained and procedures put in place during this year’s tabletop exercise will inform the UNITAS Amphibious field... ...More
Military members from multiple countries talk at a table.
U.S. Marine Maj. Alex Lugo, a Caribbean desk officer with U.S. Marine Corps Forces, South, talks with partner nation service members about a synchronization matrix during a planning meeting as part of UNITAS Amphibious in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 23, 2018. The knowledge gained and procedures put in place during... ...More
U.S. Soldiers fast-rope from a helicopter onto the flight deck of the USS Gunston Hall.
Sailors prepare a beach for landing in Cartagena, Colombia for a humanitarian assistance training exercise.
Simulated casualties await treatment during a humanitarian assistance training exercise for UNITAS 2018.
A landing craft utility prepares to land on the beach in Cartagena, Colombia for a humanitarian assistance training exercise
A landing craft utility attached to Beachmaster Unit 2 prepares to land on the beach in Cartagena, Colombia for a humanitarian assistance training exercise.
Colombian marines treat a simulated casualty during a humanitarian assistance training exercise for UNITAS 2018.
Colombian Marines fast-rope from a helicopter onto the flight deck of USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) during UNITAS 2018.
Rear Admiral Linda Wackerman speaks during the closing ceremony of UNITAS 2018.
Multinational sailors stand for the Colombian national anthem during the closing ceremony of UNITAS 2018
U.S. Army pilots fly an Army UH-60L helicopter towards USS Gunston Hall
A U.S. Soldier observes the flight line from an Army UH-60L helicopter prior to takeoff.
U.S. and Colombian forces conduct fast rope exercises from an Army UH-60L helicopter aboard USS Gunston Hall.
U.S. and Colombian forces conduct fast rope exercises from an Army UH-60L helicopter.
A U.S. Soldier observes USS Gunston Hall from aboard an Army UH-60L helicopter.
U.S. and Colombian forces conduct fast rope exercises from an Army UH-60L helicopter aboard USS Gunston Hall.
U.S. and multinational Sailors work at desks on USS Gunston Hall.
The ARC Almirante Padilla (FM-51) sails alongside the USS Gunston Hall for a replenishment at sea exercise during UNITAS 2018.
A U.S. Navy officer on USS Gunston Hall observes as the ARC Almirante Padilla sails alongside.
A Royal Canadian Navy officer and an Ecuadorian Navy officer review a schedule of events while aboard USS Gunston Hall.
The Coast Guard Cutter Tahoma arrives in Cartagena, Colombia for the annual UNITAS exercise
A U.S. Navy Sailor  helps a student at Gimnasio Cristiano de Bocachica children’s school open his lunch bag.
Colombian Marine Cadets stand in formation aboard USS Gunston Hall.
A U.S. Navy sailor  hands out candy to local children at Gimnasio Cristiano de Bocachica children’s school.
USS Gunston Hall gets underway in Colombia.
A U.S. Navy diver prepares to dive.
Military members meet at a large table.
U.S. Navy divers prepare for a dive in Colombia.
Colombian board USS Gunston Hall.
Military officials listen to a briefing
Rear Adm. Sean Buck delivers remarks during the opening ceremony for UNITAS LIX military exercise.
Service members from 10 countries pose for a photo
U.S. Marine Maj. Gen. David G. Bellon speaks.
Military officials talk.
Brazilian Naval Infantry Rear Adm. Nelio de Almeida speaks to U.S. Marine Col. Kevin Jarrard
The official UNITAS 2018 logo
USS Gunston Hall pulls in to Santa Marta, Colombia for a scheduled port visit.
An Ecuador Navy Captain talks to a U.S. Marine
Military members from multiple countries talk at a table.

LATEST IMAGERY FROM UNITAS 2018

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.

Background

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. 


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