News: Mexican Navy and Marine Corps work with MARFORSOUTH
Story by 1st Lt. Michael Hopkins
VALPARAISO, Chile - Mexican sailors and Marines aboard the ARM Usumacinta teamed up with seven other nations as part of the multinational exercise UNITAS-Partnership of the Americas 2014 here, from August 11-22, 2014.
The ARM Usumacinta is participating with a total of 213 crewmembers, to include 10 women, and 43 Marines.
Commander Luis Damar Roy Priego, ARM Usumacinta ship commander, expressed how Mexico’s experience with natural disasters proves to be an invaluable asset to POA 14.
“The exercises between partner nations provide a training opportunity for interoperability and rapid response, whenever humanitarian assistance is required, in any part of our planet,” Priego stated.
Since they have experienced earthquakes and hurricanes, they are able to provide first-hand knowledge and experience that can improve humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations. Mexico is also supporting POA 14 with 10 naval aviators to fly the MI-17 HIP helicopter and infantry Marines to support the ground combat element.
UNITAS is the largest and oldest U.S. naval exercise in U.S. Southern Command area of focus, the first one having been executed in 1960. Representatives from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay and the United States are participating in UNITAS-POA 2014 from August 11-22, 2014. This exercise is designed to enhance joint and combined interoperability; increase the combined capability to execute amphibious operations, Peace Support Operations, Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief missions, and further develop strong and lasting relationships between the naval infantries and marine corps’ within the Americas.