Ecuador: UNITAS 2020 military exercise 2 – 11 November lead by US
UNITAS 2020 military exercises, will be held in Manta, Ecuador, between November 2 and 11, seek “interoperability” between navies of region’s countries when facing common challenges…, threats such as drug trafficking, or events of any type in which cooperation is required, comment’s official sources. Thirteen navies from a dozen countries in the region and the world, and more than 900 troops will participate in UNITAS 2020 maneuvers.
“It is a block of countries that in some way we seek interoperability to be able to carry out exercises that can mean what the navies are for,” said Rear Admiral Daniel Gínez Villacís, commander of Naval Operations of the Ecuadorian Navy.
JOINT MANEUVERS SINCE 1959
The common idea of these exercises, dating back to 1959, is to share experiences and knowledge for a better “control of the sea”, in all its angles and edges.
The objective of the maneuvers, explained the Ecuadorian high command, is “to carry out surface, submarine, amphibious, air defense, maritime intervention, crisis management and response, threat containment, networks, capabilities to operate in catastrophic environments such as tsunamis. , earthquakes, and in this case, in a pandemic environment that causes us restrictions “.
This year, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, the United States, Honduras, Peru, the Dominican Republic and Uruguay will participate in the multinational exercise, which is carried out within the framework of the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (TIAR), with external participation from Italy.
Although it is not the mission of the military drill, this year the importance of the navies in protecting against illegal fishing becomes relevant, after Ecuador and several countries in the region have filed international complaints against the exaggerated exploitation in nearby marine reserves to the exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
COOPERATION WITH THE UNITED STATES
Regarding his interest in this cooperation in a project led by the United States, with which Ecuador restored its relations in 2017 after ten years of political distancing, Gínez said that “the US Navy constitutes an important support for all the countries of the region.”
“As a country we are interested in being able to have this type of activities,” said the high command, “since we see ourselves together in these types of activities that allow us to exchange experiences, learn about the technological means that the countries of the region have, and the procedures in the different activities that are proper “to the Navy.
“They allow us to interact and interoperate and, in due course, serve each other as mutual support and, likewise, grow professionally with these types of activities,” he concluded.
In April 2019, the commander of the US Southern Command, Craig Faller, visited Ecuador, where he had a meeting with the head of Defense, Oswaldo Jarrín, to whom he stressed the importance of joint actions and strategic military cooperation.