Cutter Northland Supports Multinational Exercise in Brazil

OFF THE COAST OF BRAZIL – The Portsmouth, Va.-based Coast Guard Cutter Northland is underway in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Brazil today participating in this year’s UNITAS naval exercise which kicked off in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, and will run through early May.

The UNITAS exercise is conducted annually in Atlantic and Pacific waters around South America with a goal of enhancing friendly, mutual cooperation and understanding between participating navies by developing interoperability in naval operations among the nations of the region. It provides unique at-sea training opportunities that incorporate scripted, event-driven scenarios to provide maximum opportunity to improve interoperability.

“This is a great opportunity to engage in a multi-national environment where we will be able to work with partner nations and navies, building maritime security and fostering a cooperation and understanding of our great nations’ capabilities and cultures,” said Cmdr. Christopher Austin, Northland’s commanding officer.

“Northland’s unique military, multi-mission maritime capabilities will be used to provide training and operations that promote theater security cooperation among participants in such areas as counter-drug, search and rescue, and illegal migrant interdiction operations,” added Austin.

Northland is sailing as part of the George Washington Strike Group, commanded by Rear Adm. Phil Cullom, and comprised of: the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73); Carrier Air Wing Seventeen (CVW-17); the guided missile frigate USS Kauffman (FFG 59), homeported in Norfolk, Va.; Destroyer Squadron 40 (DESRON 40); and the guided missile destroyer USS Farragut (DDG 99), homeported in Mayport, Fla.

Due to the nature of the Coast Guard’s missions, Northland has been selected as the Maritime Interdiction Operations Commander for the final joint exercise.

This is the 49th year UNIĀ­TAS has been held.

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