Sailors Complete UNITAS LANT in Southern Seas 2015

Story Number: NNS151130-10Release Date: 11/30/2015 1:58:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Alex Smedegard, USS George Washington Public Affairs

ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73), Carrier Strike Group NINE (CSG 9), Destroyer Squadron 23 to include USS Chafee (DDG 90) and USS McFaul (DDG 74), and embarked Carrier Air Wing TWO (CVW 2) completed UNITAS Atlantic (LANT) Nov. 25, the final exercise in their Southern Seas 2015 deployment.

UNITAS LANT, hosted by Brazil Nov. 14-25, consisted of a variety of maritime scenarios to test command and control of forces at sea and focus on promoting tactical interoperability and promoting friendship, professionalism and mutual understanding among the participating partner nations.

Brazil hosted this year's UNITAS LANT with participation from Cameroon, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Peru, United Kingdom and United States.

"This was an invaluable training experience for all of our navies, and we're grateful for Brazil's exceptional leadership this year," said Rear Adm. Lisa Franchetti, commander, Carrier Strike Group NINE. "This realistic exercise gave us the opportunity to form a multi-national task force and train together across the full spectrum of maritime operations from anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare to air defense and maritime interdiction operations. We also conducted a very productive seven-day bi-lateral training exercise with the Brazilian air force. This was a truly unique opportunity for our F/A-18 aircraft to work with Brazilian fighters in air-to-air combat training."

UNITAS is conducted annually and dates back to 1960. It is the U.S. Navy's longest running annual multinational maritime exercise. The next UNITAS exercise, UNITAS 2016, is scheduled to be hosted by Panama and occur in September 2016.

Washington is deployed as part of Southern Seas 2015 which seeks to enhance interoperability, increase regional stability and build and maintain relationships with countries throughout the region through joint, multinational and interagency exchanges and cooperation.

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