PUERTO BELGRANO, Argentina (NNS) -- UNITAS Atlantic 48-07 brought together naval forces from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Spain and the United States in the South Atlantic for exercises at sea from May 4-11.
The multinational task group participated in training events such as flight operations, underway replenishments, and tactical response drills to improve interoperability between navies.
"UNITAS Atlantic was an outstanding opportunity to operate with ships from Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Spain. Operating as a rather large task group, I was impressed with the planning, execution and professionalism of the other navies as we conducted numerous tactical exercises," said Cmdr. Victor Cooper, USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) commanding officer.
"Our relationship building events while in port, significantly contributed to the fun experienced while conducting the at-sea events," Cooper added.
The exchange of military personnel between sister ships also plays a large role in developing interoperability. Watching a partner navy conduct live-fire exercises and respond swiftly to simulated surface and air threats helps participants from each of the countries better understand another navy's capability to respond to a variety of situations.
"I would like to learn more about their navies, both through language and system capabilities, because I think with such a knowledge base, we will become a stronger allied force," said Operations Specialist (SW) 2nd Class Marcus Drayden, communication supervisor from USS Mitscher (DDG 57).
After several days to become familiar with each other, the ships then split into two opposing forces to conduct a two-day battle problem at sea as the capstone event in the exercise. Units were able to utilize all aspects of their air, surface and subsurface warfare training to conduct multinational naval task force operations in a multithreat environment.
"Final battle problems are always challenging, regardless of which side you are on," observed Cmdr. John Wilshusen, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 40 chief staff officer. "They allow you to put the combined skills and experiences of your team against the skills and experiences of an equally talented and dedicated opponent, with no predetermined outcome."
"The Argentina Navy did a fantastic job this year in challenging both sides with problems that made us think tactically and improved our skills in the at-sea operating environment," Wilshusen added.
"It was a good experience to work with multinational navies," said Operations Specialist 3rd Class Damario Norwood, bridge watch stander aboard Pearl Harbor. "We built good relationships between Sailors."
United States participation in UNITAS 48-07 consisted of dock landing ship Pearl Harbor, guided-missile destroyer Mitscher, guided-missile frigate USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58) and Chilean frigate CS Latorre (FFG 14), under the tactical command of Capt. Randy Snyder, DESRON 40 commander.
The four ships also comprise Task Group 40.0, conducting Partnership of the Americas (POA) 2007, a U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command deployment focused on enhancing relationships with regional partner nations through a variety of exercises and events at sea and on shore throughout South America and the Caribbean.
For more news from USS Pearl Harbor, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/lsd52/.