GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba (NNS) -- USS Underwood (FFG 36) and USS Anzio (CG 68) visited Naval Station (NS) Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, from, Sept. 29-30 during their deployments in support of multinational maritime exercise Southern Seas 2012 and UNITAS Atlantic 53.
Underwood received logistic support from the installation including fuel, water and supplies, while UNITAS flagship USS Anzio disembarked attached staff members from Destroyer Squadron 40 including U.S 4th Fleet Commander, Rear Adm. Sinclair Harris.
UNITAS Atlantic 53 is a U.S. and South America-sponsored international naval exercise. This is the 53rd year partner nations have participated in UNITAS, which stands for "unity," making it the longest ongoing maritime exercise in the region.
Thirteen multinational ships from seven partner nations participated in the exercise that originated in Key West, Fla. and officially ended in the Western Caribbean Sept. 29. Warships from Brazil, Canada, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, the United States and the United Kingdom and observers from France, Jamaica, Panama and Peru participated in the exercise.
UNITAS is designed to train each naval force in a variety of maritime scenarios, with each operating as a component of a multi-national force to provide the maximum opportunity to improve interoperability. The exercise develops and sustains relationships that improve the capacity of emerging and enduring partners' maritime forces to achieve common desired effects. The annual exercise fosters friendly, mutual cooperation and understanding between participating navies.
Southern Seas 2012 is a six-month U.S. Navy engagement and training operation to the Caribbean and Central and South America. During the deployment, USS Underwood and embarked units participated in a variety of exercises and multi-national exchanges to improve operational readiness and enhance relationships in the region.
During the operation, assigned units focused on operating in the multi-national environment, preparing to deal with unconventional threats such as illicit trafficking, and improved training levels in a variety of mission areas.
Participating forces took part in major regional exercises including UNITAS Atlantic, UNITAS Pacific, and Silent Force Exercise.
Forces also participated in a series of theater security cooperation events, including military-to-military cooperation, humanitarian assistance, disaster response, combined training, and maritime security.
Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, serves as a logistical hub in the U.S. 4th Fleet Caribbean theatre. The installation's Port Operations department provides operational support for more than 150 vessels a year.
For more news from Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, visit www.navy.mil/local/guantanamo/.