USS-AMERICA: The Newest Amphibious Assault Ship of the US Navy Visits Brazil


first_img During the first week of August, Brazil received a visit from the newest amphibious assault ship of the US Navy. The inaugural trip of the LHA-6 USS America began in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and passed by Cartagena, Colombia, before arriving at the port of Rio de Janeiro, which is the last South Atlantic stop for the ship, highlighting the importance of Brazil for the United States, with regards to increasing the bilateral relationships in areas of common interest, such as the regional maritime security, the training of aerial and amphibious operations, and the fulfillment of joint rescue missions and humanitarian aid (such as the successful operation following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti). Commanded by Rear Admiral Fernandez “Frank” L. Ponds, who leads the Expeditionary Strike Group 3, this first commission entitled “America visits the Americas” will end at the Naval Base of San Diego, California, in the beginning of September, when the America will be officially commissioned, joining the US Navy history as the forth ship baptized with this symbolical name. While sailing along the coast of Rio de Janeiro, aside from conducting exercises with the F-45 Union Frigate, the USS America performed onboard landing training (Cross Deck) with the HU-1 (UH-12 Squirrel), HU-2 (UH-15 Super Cougar), and the HS-1 (MH-16 Seahawk) squadrons. However, without a doubt, the most important experience of this visit was the joint training opportunity for the American and Brazilian Marines. The Navy 3rd Infantry Battalion platoon (Paissandu Battalion) represented Brazil in part of the joint exercise. During which, the intent was to abbreviate the mission planning in a process known by the marines as R2P2 (Rapid Response Planning Process), a process still under study by Brazil and that facilitates, in ideal conditions, the planning, staging, preparation, and execution of the mission in up to six hours. The exercise simulated that the LHA-6 USS America and the F-45 Union ships, with a troop of marines on board, were navigating the Atlantic when an instable situation arose in an archipelago hit by a hurricane, and part of its territory was controlled by paramilitary rebel forces. It is in such condition of crises, during a disaster, with the presence of armed hostiles, and the incapacity of the local government to protect the population, that a rapid response is due and the abbreviated planning comes at play, from which the coalition of the forces involved immediately begins to gather intelligence data, organize logistics, plan, prepare and execute the action in a coordinated manner, providing support to the civilians, and ensuring their safety, while the special units attack and neutralize the threat symbolized by a rebel campground, and perform the evacuation of the citizens onto the ship. The USS America visit to Brazil, aside from enabling joint training and motivating the camaraderie exercise between the American and Brazilian troops, allowed the Brazilian marines to train their missions of responsibility using the most modern aerial resources existing for this purpose, the MV-22B Osprey, a unique opportunity that was well taken advantage of. This visit also represented the brotherly union of two important countries, whose navies’ stabilization actions are important within the regional context for the maintenance of the status quo of the South Atlantic peace zone. By Dialogo August 28, 2014last_img

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