MCCC hosts regional discussion on jungle warfare

Maj. Rafael Novaes da Cionceicao, Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation instructor, briefs Maneuver Captain's Career Course students about jungle operations in Brazil Aug. 31 in Derby Auditorium. (Photo by Gerald Williams)

Maj. Rafael Novaes da Cionceicao, Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation instructor, briefs Maneuver Captain’s Career Course students about jungle operations in Brazil Aug. 31 in Derby Auditorium. (Photo by Gerald Williams)

By Gerald Williams, Bayonet & Saber /

Brazilian army representatives gave insight to Soldiers within the Maneuver Captain’s Career Course about jungle operations Aug. 31 in Derby Auditorium.

Maj. Rafael Novaes da Cionceicao and Capt. Rodrigo Bezerra de Azevedo, Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation instructors, explained that jungle operations can present a number of difficulties for Soldiers.

“With the jungle environment, you will get a number of complexities you may not normally deal with. Difficulty with movement and communication are some of the things you would experience,” said Novaes.

Novaes stated that he had operated within the jungle for seven years and was still taken back with how big Brazil actually is.

“The forest of Brazil is one-third of all forests in the world. It also has three time zones and two hemispheres. It’s a huge area. With that large area comes many concerns,” said Novaes.

The major concerns were drug trafficking, illegal gold digging and bird trapping, Novaes said.

“Brazil is bordered with Columbia, Peru and Bolivia, so we have to deal with complex issues from three different countries, three different cultures,” said Novaes. “It is our job to protect Brazil from these issues.”

“We try to coordinate with different agencies to arrest or apprehend whatever criminals are present,” added Bezerra.

Novaes stated that new jungle operatives are taught in three phases.

“First, we teach them how to survive in the jungle,” said Novaes. “Second, we teach them how we operate using the rivers in the forest and how to navigate through it. Third we teach them how to operate within the environment.”

“In terms of operating within the environment, we have two types of jungle: primary and secondary,” said Bezerra. “In a primary jungle the environment is generally traversable, but within a secondary jungle you can only get through at 100 meters per hour because the forest is so dense and thick.”

Bezerra also stated that there are 20,000 miles of rivers.

“Rivers are the main mode of transportation we use during operation,” said Bezerra.

“There are also certain kinds of ants that will eat your equipment. I’m not joking,” laughed Bezerra.

“That is why we use hammocks when we sleep. Because if ants can eat your equipment, imagine what they could do to your body.”

“Despite some of the issues we have, when compared to the rest of the world we live in a good place,” said Novaes. “We are prepared to protect our Amazon.”

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