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The original item was published from 9/5/2012 6:00:23 PM to 9/24/2012 12:05:01 AM.

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Posted on: September 5, 2012

[ARCHIVED] UNITAS Ships Open for Public Visits September 18, Group Tours September 19, 2012

NAS Key West

UNITAS Ships Open for Public Visits Sept. 18, Group Tours Sept. 19

From U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command, U.S. 4th Fleet and Naval Air Station Key West

Ships from U.S. and allied Navies participating in the 53rd annual UNITAS exercise will be open for free public tours at Naval Air Station Key West's Mole Pier at the Truman Waterfront from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 18, and for pre-scheduled group tours Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012.

Groups numbering no more than 25 may request Sept. 19 visits between 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Groups must call (305) 293-2027 to schedule.

Guests taking tours of the ship are advised to wear comfortable, fitted shoes to navigate the ladders and steps. Skirts or dresses are not recommended.

UNITAS, Latin for “unity,” UNITAS is the world’s longest-running joint naval exercise, with the ultimate purpose of preparing the navies of each participating nation in cooperative response to a variety of maritime situations. During the two-week exercise, navies from Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the U.S. will train together in a realistic tactical training environment featuring undersea warfare, shipboard operations, maritime interdiction operations, air defense and surface warfare, amphibious operations, electronic warfare, and special warfare. The relationships that develop from this exercise will help foster cooperation and understanding between participating countries.

“Hosting this many ships at once at Naval Air Station Key West is truly an exciting opportunity - something Key West hasn't seen at Truman Waterfront since the Naval Station was decommissioned in the 70s,” said NAS Key West Commanding Officer Capt. Patrick Lefere. “We look forward to UNITAS and to letting the public have the chance to see our U.S. ships up close, as well as those of our partner nations.”

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