Navies of Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Mexico strengthen response to natural disasters

By Juan Delgado / Diálogo

November 09, 2021

The navies of Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Mexico conducted Exercise SOLIDAREX II, October 7-24, to assess and strengthen their natural disaster response capabilities. The forces conducted the exercise in three phases on the Pacific coasts of Peru, Ecuador and Colombia.

Thousands of military personnel, as well as naval and aviation assets from participating countries, have put their response capabilities to the test in different natural disaster scenarios, coordinating the efforts of a multinational task force to provide humanitarian assistance.

According to a statement from the Peruvian Navy (MGP, in Spanish), the exercise began on the coast of the Andean country with the simulation of a major seismic event, for which the participating navies carried out an amphibious landing with specialized units in search, rescue, and first aid, with the assistance of various means, including ships, amphibious vehicles and helicopters. Operations focused on humanitarian aid activities to locate and rescue the wounded and provide health care and food to the affected population, according to the Argentinian magazine Military zone reported.

Participating units provided supplies to the affected population as part of exercise SOLIDAREX II. (Photo: Ecuadorian Navy)

In the second phase, the Marines reproduced the amphibious landing with the participation of different naval assets also in response to an earthquake, this time off the coast of Ecuador. “Four countries and more than 1,000 military personnel, all working in unison for a single common goal,” the Ecuadorian navy said via Twitter.

In the third phase, the participants were confronted with a simulated emergency situation generated by a tsunami. Seven ships, three urban search and rescue teams, two helicopters and more than 500 military personnel deployed on the Colombian Pacific coast, the Colombian navy said in a statement.

“During the exercise, the participating Marines enhanced their capabilities and skills to perform quickly and efficiently, amid the damage that these weather and natural phenomena create, and also exchanged knowledge on tactics, procedures and techniques. […] with the aim of increasing interoperability, ”said the Colombian Navy.

SOLIDAREX was first carried out in October 2019, as the first combined humanitarian assistance exercise in the Pacific Ocean, off the coasts of Peru, Ecuador and Colombia, a region vulnerable to natural hazards. such as earthquakes, tsunamis, floods and droughts.

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