Military Sealift Command Public Affairs
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June 2, 2010
Swift tour supports Maritime Strategy, partnerships
By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Kim Williams, High Speed Vessel Swift 2 Public Affairs
Military Sealift Command High Speed Vessel Swift (HSV 2) hosted senior military members from Mexico, Chile and Ecuador June 2.
The service members are military attaches to the United States from Latin and Central America.
"This visit is important because countries in the region can come out and see exactly what we are doing," said Navy Cmdr. Scott Brees, U.S. naval attaché to Panama. "They come and see the exchanges we are hosting, which helps these nations improve their ability to fight drug traffickers, take care of their own equipment and enforce their nation's laws."
The ship is deployed in support of Southern Partnership Station (SPS) 2010, a deployment of various specialty platforms to the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility in the Caribbean and Central America, with the primary goal of information sharing with navies, coast guards, and civilian services throughout the region.
"We try to engage the countries we visit at all levels to ensure our message of progress through partnership is given to the most people, consistently," said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Christopher Simmons, Southern Partnership Station 2010 deputy mission commander. "We are here as partners to continue the relationships that we have established and to create new relationships that we want to keep into the future."
The SPS mission is directly aligned with the nation's Maritime Strategy, a crucial responsibility of protecting U.S. vital interests in an increasingly interconnected and uncertain world.
"SPS is seen as an enabler and a great example of the U.S. global Maritime Strategy at work," said Navy Capt. Kurt Hedberg. "During this mission, we seek to promote common interests and share information, in various capacities, with nations that we already work closely with. The thought is to create a more secure maritime environment for all involved as we demonstrate our ongoing commitment to the region."
This is the fourth SPS deployment in the U.S. Southern Command area of operations and the vision is to continue this effort to maintain a persistent presence in the region as a way to further enhance strong relationships.
Swift is operated and navigated by 17 civilian contract mariners working for a private company under charter to the U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command.
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