UNITAS is a longstanding, multinational maritime exercise conducted annually in Latin America and the Caribbean to enhance security cooperation and improve coalition operations.  UNITAS LXI was hosted by Ecuador and included 11 warships from the United States and 8 nations that conducted operations in the Pacific Ocean Nov. 2 - 11. 

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UNITAS is designed to train each navy 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 and amphibious operations in order to increase interoperability and capability between participating naval and marine forces.

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

UNITAS LXI includes scenarios addressing electronic warfare, anti-air warfare and air defense, anti-surface warfare, and maritime interdiction.

Participating Countries

Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Peru, Uruguay, and the United States.

Participating U.S. Forces

  • USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS  10)
  • HSC 23 Det-9
  • USCGC Legare (WMEC 912)
  • VP-9
  • VP-26 (P-8s)
  • USAV Chickahominy (LCU 2011)
  • U.S. Air Forces Aircraft, DESRON 40
  • U.S Marine Corps Forces, South (MARFORSOUTH)
  • U.S. 4th Fleet (FOURTHFLT)


UNITAS, which is Latin for “unity,” was conceived in 1959, first executed in 1960 and has been held every year since. This year marks the first time in approximately 20 years that Ecuador has hosted the exercise and the 61st iteration of the world’s longest-running annual multinational maritime exercise.


UNITAS infographic.