VALPARAISO, Chile (NNS) -- Sailors from U.S. and partner nation navies came together, volunteering in a community relations (COMREL) project to remove graffiti from Iglesia de la Matriz, a local church in Valparaiso, June 25.
In addition to painting over graffiti, the participants were also able to help in the church’s kitchen, spending about four hours preparing and serving dinner to approximately 130 homeless citizens who came to the church for their evening meal.
“Thank you very much,” said Gonzolo Bravo, head priest of Iglesia de la Matriz. “We don’t always have the money to cover up all this graffiti, so we appreciate all of your help today.”
While in Valparaiso, these Sailors are also participating in the annual exercise UNITAS LX Pacific phase. This year’s exercise is hosted by Armada de Chile in Valparaiso, touting maritime forces from 13 countries including 10 warships, 1 submarine, 5 helicopters and 5 fixed-wing aircraft from June 24 - July 3.
UNITAS, Latin for ‘unity,’ is the world’s longest-running multinational maritime exercise. Conceived in 1959 and first executed in 1960, UNITAS is a demonstration of U.S. commitment to the region and the strong relationships forged between our partner nations and their militaries. In addition to the Pacific phase of UNITAS LX, there will be Atlantic and Amphibious phases hosted by Brazil in August.
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