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UNITAS Atlantic Phase to Kickoff in Key West

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS120917-04

From U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet Public Affairs

MAYPORT, Fla. (NNS) -- Naval forces from Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States will kick off the Atlantic Phase of UNITAS, an annual multi-national exercise, in Key West, Sept. 17 hosted by Commander, U.S. Fourth Fleet.

Thirteen warships will conduct operations in the Western Caribbean through, Sept. 28, 2012.

UNITAS is designed to train participating forces in a variety of maritime scenarios to test command and control of forces at sea, while operating as a multinational force to provide the maximum opportunity to improve interoperability.

Observers from France, Jamaica, Panama and Peru are also participating this year.

UNITAS develops and sustains relationships to improve the capacity of our partners' maritime forces. This annual exercise fosters friendly, mutual cooperation and understanding between participating navies.

"While the overarching goal of the exercise is to develop and test command and control of forces at sea, training in this exercise will address the spectrum of maritime operations," Commander U.S. Fourth Fleet, Rear Adm. Sinclair Harris said. "Specifically, there will be high end warfare scenarios addressing Electronic Warfare, Anti-Air Warfare and Air Defense, Anti-Submarine Warfare, Anti-Surface Warfare, and Maritime Interdiction Operations," he said.

Next year's exercises are scheduled to begin in the Spring of 2013.

U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet (COMUSNAVSO/C4F) supports USSOUTHCOM joint and combined full-spectrum military operations by providing principally sea-based, forward presence to ensure freedom of maneuver in the maritime domain, to foster and sustain cooperative relationships with international partners and to fully exploit the sea as maneuver space in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions.

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