USS Oak Hill (LSD 51) deployed for its sixth deployment in seven years in support of Amphibious-Southern Partnership Station 2012 (A-SPS 12), Oct. 3.
This A-SPS 12 mission is comprised of members from each branch of military service. The mission is focused on working together with the partner nation’s civil and military services, sharing ideas and professional expertise to improve interoperability and enhance regional maritime security throughout the Caribbean Basin, Central and South America.
“We will also be providing humanitarian assistance through Project Handclasp,” said Capt. Arturo Garcia, A-SPS 12 mission commander.
Project Handclasp is an official Navy program that accepts and transports educational, humanitarian and goodwill materials overseas on a space-available basis aboard U.S. Navy ships.
“We have 95 pallets of donated equipment and supplies valued at nearly $400,000 that will aid in humanitarian assistance. The crew and I are fortunate to have this opportunity,” said Cmdr. David Bauer, Oak Hill commanding officer.
Oak Hill brings with it a task force of 725 personnel consisting of service members from Amphibious Squadron (PHIPBRON) 8, the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Marine Corps Marine Wing Support Squadron 274, Helicopter Marine Medium 774, Second Amphibious Assault Vehicle Battalion, Riverine Squadron (RIVRON) 3, Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 2, Beach Master Unit 2, Joint Inter-Agency Task Force South (JIATF-S) and Public Affairs Support Element.
U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet supports U.S. Southern Command joint and combined full-spectrum military operations by providing principally sea-based, forward presence to ensure freedom of maneuver in the maritime domain, to foster and sustain cooperative relationships with international partners to fully exploit the sea as maneuver space in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions.
Source: navy, October 06, 2011