USS PEARL HARBOR, At Sea (NNS) -- The final battle problem of UNITAS 48-07 Pacific phase began June 23, after the completion of exercises along the coast of South America in support of Partnership of the Americas (POA) 2007.
In preparation for the final battle problem ships from Chile, Colombia, Peru and the United States completed various combined exercises and evolutions at sea this past week.
"The UNITAS Pacific work-up phase has proved to be challenging and robust. Exercises tested the watch teams on tactical procedures and techniques," said Lt. Cmdr. Richard Evans, UNITAS planning officer. "UNITAS provides a multitude of training opportunities for all participating nations."
Flight operations, refueling at sea and live fire exercises were some of the events coordinated with partner nations to maintain a high degree of unit readiness.
"I think the exercises went extremely well. Any time we have the opportunity to display and share our capabilities to other nations is a good day," said Cryptologic Technician Technical 2nd Class (SW) Benjamin Patten, live fire safety observer aboard the USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52). "It was also a good opportunity for the Sailors to learn more about the weapons on board the ship."
Practical evolutions such as the submarine familiarization and tracking, search and rescue, maritime interdiction operations and the exchange of partner nation representatives between various platforms for liaison and planning provided excellent opportunities for engagement and interaction.
"The interface between different nations proved to be a win-win for all, considering the time constraints placed on planning for the execution phase," said Evans. "The training environments exercised proficiency in command and control and plotting techniques."
During the final battle problem, the multinational force will operate under a simulated U.N. Security Council Resolution training scenario.
"These scenarios are the practical application of the tactics and procedures we have been working on," said Cmdr. John Wilshusen, Destroyer Squadron 40 chief staff officer. "The free play environment gives us a very good idea of the effectiveness of our training, and shows us areas where we need to focus future efforts. Events like these are key to achieving the Chief of Naval Operations' vision of a 1,000-ship maritime force."
UNITAS participants are Chilean oiler Araucano (AO-53), Colombian frigate Independiente (FL-54), Peruvian frigate Palacios (FM-56), Peruvian submarine Arica (SS-36), U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mohawk (WMEC 913) and elements of Task Group 40.0, which consists of Chilean frigate CS Almirante Latorre (FFG 14), dock landing ship Pearl Harbo, guided-missile destroyer USS Mitscher (DDG 57) and guided-missile frigate USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58).
Task Group 40.0 is currently deployed in support of Partnership of the Americas (POA) 2007 under the leadership of Capt. Randy Snyder, Commander Destroyer Squadron 40. POA focuses on enhancing relationships with regional partner nations through a variety of exercises and events at sea and ashore throughout South America and the Caribbean.
For more information on the U.S. ships in this Task Group go to http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact.asp.
For more news from Destroyer Squadron 40, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/desron40/.