CALLAO, Peru (NNS) -- Junior officers from the United States, Mexico, Honduras, Chile, and Peru attended a professional symposium hosted by the Peruvian Navy Sept. 12, during UNITAS, an annual multinational maritime exercise.
Representatives from the five nations presented various topics to the participants in an effort to educate the other nations on their respective navy's missions and operations while integrating each nation's officers into a cohesive team.
Topics included unmanned aerial vehicles and missions; a comprehensive overview of the Mexican Navy; earthquakes and emergency response; organized crime and illegal trafficking; and, illegal mining and environmental impacts. Additionally, the audience received a cultural awareness presentation on the communities along the Amazon River.
"[The symposium] was a great opportunity to learn about our partner nations' navies here at UNITAS," said Lt. j.g. Nicholas Bailey. "Listening to presentations about partner navy operations and how we all work together shows just how much we share in common. Meeting and networking with their sailors is a great way to make new friends from different countries."
The UNITAS exercise, sponsored by U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet, consists of a variety of maritime scenarios and exercises, and runs through Sept. 26. This year's events, hosted by Peru, are being conducted to enhance security cooperation and improve coalition operations. UNITAS is the longest-running annual multinational maritime exercise in the world. Fifteen nations are participating and collaborating in the exercise.
U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet support U.S. Southern Command's joint and combined military operations by employing maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations in order to maintain access, enhance interoperability, and build enduring partnerships in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions.