Military News

Monday, October 26, 2015

U.S. Navy EOD and Chilean Special Forces Strengthen Partnership

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Paul Archer, USS George Washington Public Affairs

PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 3 Platoon 3-1-1 aboard USS George Washington (CVN 73) and members of Chilean special forces teamed up in a Helicopter Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (HVBSS) exercise Oct. 20 as part of UNITAS Pacific (PAC).

UNITAS PAC 2015 is hosted by Chile and supports the U.S. maritime strategy by bringing partner nation navies together to improve interoperability and build working relationships at sea.

The HVBSS integrated the two nations into one team to compare tactics used by the different units to help improve combined operations and readiness in the U.S. Southern Command theater of operations.

"The U.S. Navy EOD and Chilean special forces got together to go over different methods that we can use and to cross train," said Chief Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Jeremy Owen.

The multinational force practiced tactical fast roping while flying with "The Black Knights" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 4 aboard Washington.

"This is the first time I worked with U.S. Navy EOD," said Ens. Sebastian Urquieta, Chilean special forces. "We are just starting to learn about Mine Counter Measure (MCM) and EOD operations."

The exercise proved to be mutually beneficial for both the Chilean special forces and U.S. Navy EOD teams, providing reasons why multinational exercises like UNITAS PAC are so beneficial.

"The training was good," said Urquieta. "I learned a lot and look forward to the future training we'll conduct with the U.S."

UNITAS is the U.S. Navy's longest running annual multinational maritime exercise, is part of the Southern Seas deployment planned by U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command / U.S. 4th Fleet. This 56th iteration of UNITAS is conducted in two phases: UNITAS Pacific hosted by Chile, October 13-24, 2015 and UNITAS Atlantic, hosted by Brazil scheduled for November.

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