CARIBBEAN SEA (NNS) (NNS) -- Maj. Gen. Helen G. Pratt, commanding general, 4th Marine Logistics Group (MLG), U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and the U.S. Marine Corps' first female sergeant major, Sgt. Maj. Lanette N. Wright, 4th MLG visited USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) to meet with embarked Marines from the Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Southern Command (SPMAGTF-SC), July 10.
Gunston Hall is deployed in support of Southern Seas 2018. The deployment focuses on strengthening our existing regional partnerships and encouraging the establishment of new relationships through the exchange of maritime mission-focused knowledge and expertise.
"The Marine Corps and Navy relationship is what we are here to reinforce. The SPMAGTF-SC's mission crossing paths with the Southern Seas deployment demonstrates how natural our joint integration is," said Pratt. "We work better when we work together. Amphibious operations are our roots and continuous training and team integration are critical to every mission whether we are providing relief or we are under fire."
Pratt and Wright landed on Gunston Hall earlier this morning via CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter. They spent roughly two hours on board touring the ship, speaking with Marines and Sailors and learning more about U.S. Navy assets built to support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
Gunston Hall crew members spoke about the various components of shipboard operations and how the Navy and Marine Corps have demonstrated the viability and utility of jointly operated missions.
"The SPMAGTF is here to train to respond to natural disasters or crises. This is one of the many functions of the Marines," said Wright. "We can't thank our blue-green team onboard enough for all that they are doing."
Cmdr. Fiona Halbritter, commanding officer of Gunston Hall added, "We are honored to have Maj. Gen. Pratt and Sgt. Maj. Wright visit Gunston Hall and to have their SPMAGTF-SC team with us underway. There is a lot to be learned from one another as we train to respond to hurricanes and other natural disasters over the coming weeks."
Southern Seas is a U.S. Southern Command-sponsored and U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet-conducted deployment focused on subject matter expert exchanges with partner nation militaries and security forces in the Caribbean, Central and South America.
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