US 4th Fleet and Ecuador Navy prepare for annual UNITAS exercise

The photo from UNITAS 2019 (Credit:US Navy)

U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet and Ecuadorian Navy maritime planners are conducting a virtual Final Planning Conference in support of the upcoming UNITAS LXI exercise, scheduled for Nov. 2-11 in Ecuador, the US Navy announced.

More than 60 planners from 11 partner nations, including representatives from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Army are participating in this week’s conference. The virtual conference will finalize the UNITAS LXI concept of operations, complete the tentative schedule of events, and finalize assigned roles and responsibilities.

UNITAS LXI is scheduled to have multiple underway events to include maneuvering exercises advancing to coordinated warfare events and culminating with a multi-threat, multi-day scenario that allows participants to work together as a multinational force. Additionally, several live-fire events are scheduled for UNITAS LXI, to include a sinking exercise (SINKEX). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be not be any of the traditional inport events.

UNITAS, Latin for “unity”, is the longest-running, multi-national maritime exercise in the world. Conceived in 1959, UNITAS I took place in 1960. UNITAS LXI will focus on interoperability at sea with warfighting exercises, to include live-fire events, that work up to a multi-day scenario phase where participating forces come together to operate as a multi-national force.

Last year, UNITAS-2019 was hosted by Brazil.