The Navy and Marine Corps conducted training at sea with the Brazilian Navy and Marine Corps in the Gulf of Guinea on the west coast of Africa from August 22-23.

The Brazilian frigate Independência (F44) and the Expeditionary Sea Base USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4) participated in multinational training during exercise GUINEX-I, the first iteration of the Brazilian initiative. Designed and directed by Brazil, the US participated after receiving an invitation to demonstrate the importance of maritime security for partner nations in the region.

The GUINEX-I exercise, which takes place from August to September, is intended to strengthen partnerships with countries in West and Central Africa as well as with other countries interested in regional maritime security. This exercise enables the Brazilian Navy and Marine Corps to train and support other Marines and Marine Corps in the region, with an emphasis on building capacity to combat piracy and other illegal maritime activities.

“When we talk about maritime security these days, we have to look at interoperability; and joint exercises are essential to improve interoperability, ”said Cmdr. Thiago Lopes de Silva, US Marine Corps Forces, Brazilian Liaison Officer, South. “GUINEX-I is certainly a great opportunity for the development of maritime security, not only for the countries involved, but for the entire region of the Gulf of Guinea.”

The exchange included the integration of US, Brazilian and Portuguese naval officers on board the Hershel “Woody” Williams to facilitate the planning and support of the training events and to establish interoperability between all armed forces.

The two ships integrated their training by conducting compliant and non-compliant boarding, small boat operations, maritime awareness activities, and maneuvering and communication exercises. This event culminated in a PASSEX, a passage exercise in which the ships coordinate maneuvers next to and around each other in order to increase the operational readiness and interoperability of the ships of the two nations.

The US and Brazil share a common interest in the security, prosperity and freedom of Africa in the waters surrounding the continent. Brazil has a long and established history of working with African partners and is committed to their success; Exercise GUINEX-I is an example of this.

“Brazil is a global security exporter and continues to offer opportunities for mutual engagement abroad,” said Maj. Reese Johnson, Brazilian desk officer at MARFORSOUTH. “They are experienced, professional and closely connected to their African partners.”

Earlier this year, Brazil participated in the Naval Infantry Leaders Symposium – Africa, a multinational, Africa-centric forum designed to bring partner nations together with naval forces and infantry to develop interoperability, crisis response capabilities, and foster relationships that enhance Africa’s maritime domain security .

In 2022, Brazil is slated to host exercise UNITAS, the longest-running multinational maritime exercise in the world, as well as the Marine Leaders of the Americas Conference, a place where leaders come together to discuss how multinational partners can work together to improve multi-domains security throughout the western hemisphere. These events together with GUINEX demonstrate Brazil’s leadership role in the maritime sector and strengthen a global multinational partnership.

Recording date: 08/30/2021
Release Date: 08/30/2021 3:05 PM
Story ID: 404171
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