Military Sealift Command Public Affairs
For more information, contact:
Meghan Patrick Henderson (202) 685-5055
November 7, 2011
Southern Partnership Station 2012 Begins
By Lt. Matthew Comer, High Speed Vessel - Southern Partnership Station 2012 Public Affairs
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (NNS) -- High Speed Vessel (HSV) 2 Swift arrived in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic to begin HSV - Southern Partnership Station 2012 (HSV-SPS 12), Nov. 6.
Swift is scheduled to be in the Dominican Republic for three weeks to engage with partner nation peers in a series of information exchanges.
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 (EST), and Maritime Civil Affairs Team (MCAT) are aboard Swift for this mission.
"It is exciting to begin this mission," said Cmdr. Garry Wright, HSV-SPS 12 mission commander. "Swift is a unique platform that allows us to make lasting bonds with our partner nations. What we do on this deployment will make a difference and it will have a lasting impact on each of us."
A U.S. Navy Seabee and U.S. Marine detachment from Swift is scheduled to complete minor renovations on the Rafaella Santaella School. The 15-day construction project will include fencing, minor plumbing and electrical maintenance, and other small repairs.
"Seabees build," said Lt. j.g. J.P. Henry, officer in charge of the Navy Mobile Construction Battalion 23 detachment. "In addition to Basica Rafaela Santaella, we also get to build relationships with our hosts. This mission exemplifies why it is a great time to be a Seabee."
Marines from Swift are scheduled to participate in a small unit leadership course with Dominican marines at 27 de Febrero Naval Base. The course will last three weeks and will include land navigation, marksmanship, first aid and tactics.
"The Dominican Republic marine corps was established in 2008," said Gunnery Sgt Edward Palacios, HSV-SPS 12 Marine detachment. "The skills we will be working together on here are fundamental to any operation."
Sixty-four pallets of Project Handclasp materials consisting of water filtering canisters, 64,152 high calorie meals, medical equipment, 108 personal energy transport carts, and 14 pallets of school desks are scheduled to be offloaded Nov. 11, to be donated to local organizations all over the country.
"The coordination and cooperation with the host nation really makes Project Handclasp a success," said Wright. "It demonstrates how many lives we can affect together."
Project Handclasp is a U.S. Navy program that accepts and transports educational, humanitarian and goodwill material donated by America's private sector on a space available basis aboard U.S. Navy ships for distribution to foreign nation recipients.
Southern Partnership Station is an annual deployment of U.S. ships to the U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) area of responsibility in the Caribbean, Central and South America. The mission's primary goal is information sharing with navies, coast guards and civilians in the region.
U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. FOURTH Fleet (COMUSNAVSO/C4F) supports USSOUTHCOM 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.
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