High Speed Vessel (HSV) 2 Swift departed Callao, Peru upon the completion of subject matter expert exchanges as part of HSV-Southern Partnership Station 2012 (HSV-SPS 12), Feb. 9.
Swift arrived in Callao Jan. 19, and service members aboard spent three weeks working with Peruvian civilian and military peers discussing and developing best practices and procedures on a variety of topics.
All branches of U.S. military service are represented on Swift. Specialists from the Seabees, Marines, medical and veterinary fields, Naval Criminal Investigatory Services (NCIS), Expeditionary Security Team, and Maritime Civil Affairs Team are aboard Swift for this mission.
“Our time in Peru was extremely productive,” said Cmdr. Garry Wright, HSV-SPS 12 mission commander. “The Peruvian navy is extremely professional and it allowed for our teams to work fluidly. The things that the teams have accomplished together in three weeks have been amazing.”
A U.S. Navy Seabee and U.S. Marine detachment from HSV-SPS completed renovations and reconstruction of three school sites in Peru with Peruvian marine combat engineers. The exchange concluded with a recognition ceremony at a school in Ancon, Peru, where three Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 23and six Peruvian engineers built three classrooms, including roofing, electricity and plumbing. The project will impact more than 1,000 children.
“We are so thankful to the Seabees and Peruvian military for the work they have done here, said Edwardo Lozada Ramirez, Parents’ Organization president. “The population is increasing in Ancon, so projects like these are important to ensure everyone in the community can receive education.”
U.S. Marines participated in a small-unit leadership exchange with Peruvian marines, at Ancon Marine Base. More than 50 Peruvian marines worked with 11 Marines from HSV-SPS 12, three Marines from Marine Forces South (MARFORSOUTH), and two combat engineer instructors from Training and Education Command. The Marines completed practical exercises in military operations in urban terrain, breaching, patrolling, and marksmanship. The exchange lasted three weeks and was concluded with a recognition ceremony, Feb. 6.
“The partnerships are the best part of the job,” said Gunnery Sgt. Joel Young, staff non-commissioned officer-in-charge, MARFORSOUTH security cooperation team. “The training is great here, but it is just a vehicle to develop the partnerships and relationships we have here.”
The medical team aboard Swift visited five local hospitals and clinics, learning about tropical diseases, visiting patients, and observing surgeries. The team of four Air Force medical personnel included a doctor, a nurse, and two medical technicians. The team also presented information regarding basic and advanced cardiac life support, first aid and public health to their host-nation peers.
“This mission is about sharing our knowledge with medical professionals in the countries we visit,” said Tech. Sgt. Anthony Clarke. “Learning how to prevent a disease is just as important as learning to treat it, and that is what we are doing here.”
The two-person HSV-SPS 12 veterinary team spent a week at Callao Naval Base discussing military working dog care. The team worked with vets and military working dog handlers concerning the best practices to ensure the health and happiness of the dogs. They also visited medical facilities in the area, learning more about local care and treatment practices.
“It was great to see on our last day there that they were implementing the recommendations we had made,” said Air Force Lt. Col Tammy Von Busch. “One of the biggest impacts is that now they are going to start adopting out their retired dogs, instead of keeping them in kennels. It is having an impact like this that makes these partnerships so important.”
More than 40 security personnel partnered with the Swift NCIS team. The three-person NCIS team was invited to participate in two one-week exchanges on Callao Naval Base. The exchange detailed the history of terrorism and the importance of installation surveillance.
“The reason why we have these exchanges is because studies in history have determined that the failure of our ability to detect and report suspicious activities results in a weak force protection posture,” said Lt.j.g. Dylan Harmon, NCIS team member.
Peru was the fifth stop for Swift on its four-month HSV-SPS 12 mission. The boat is scheduled to visit Cap Haitien, Haiti to continue the partnership-building mission. Swift visited the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala and Panama before arriving in Peru. Haiti will be Swift’s final stop before returning to the United States.
Southern Partnership Station is an annual deployment of U.S. ships to the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility in the Caribbean and Latin America. The mission’s primary goal is information sharing with navies, militaries and civilians in the region.
U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet (COMUSNAVSO/C4F) 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 and 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.
Naval Today Staff , February 13, 2012