USHUAIA, Argentina (NNS) -- USS Farragut (DDG-99) made a port visit to Ushuaia May 15-17, in support of Farragut's theater security cooperation (TSC) mission.
TSC is part of Partnership of the Americas (POA) 2008, an ongoing commitment to strengthen partnerships with partner-nations in the southern hemisphere.
While exercises associated with POA, such as UNITAS, strengthen military interoperability among partner Navies, TSC operations link foreign nations together through military to military engagements and subject matter expert exchanges (SMEEs), community relations (COMREL) projects, and foreign dignitary receptions.
Farragut's Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Scott E. Dugan, expressed the enthusiasm both he and his crew share with regards to Farragut's third international port visit.
"Our visit here gave the Farragut Sailors an opportunity to experience the rich Argentinian culture while serving as goodwill ambassadors here in Ushuaia," he said.
The ship's visit coincided with Argentina's Dia de la Armada Argentina, or Navy Days, which celebrate the great naval victory of Adm. Guillermo Brown in 1814, Argentina's first admiral, over the Spanish fleet.
"We have seen in the past few weeks that Argentina has certainly upheld its tradition of professionalism in the naval service, and we are grateful for the opportunity to train alongside the skilled Sailors of the Argentine Navy," said Dugan.
During this visit, Farragut hosted a reception at a local resort hotel for Argentina's senior naval and Marine leadership, as well as prominent citizens of Ushuaia. Crew members also attended a concert by the Argentinian Navy Band and a ceremony at the Ushuaia Naval Base in honor of Argentina's Navy Day.
SMEE and COMREL efforts in Ushuaia were both medically oriented. Ten Sailors donated blood while Farragut Hospital Corpsman 1st Class (FMF) Wasim Mohamed and Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class (SW) Damion Morris discussed battlefield medicine with their Argentinian counterparts at the Ushuaian Naval Hospital.
"Medical care is one of many topics that two nations can come together and discuss a common goal... to preserve life and prevent illnesses. It was very satisfying to help the Argentinians in the medical training that we provided, not only because I am in the medical field and I share the same passion as they do, but because I know that by giving this knowledge to another, I have made a difference. It warms my heart to know that I have made an impact in the world and I would love to have this opportunity [during] every port visit."
Additionally, over 70 Argentinian military and civilian personnel braved thick snow storms May 16 to tour the Farragut. These individuals included Argentine Coast Guard personnel, senior Argentine Navy and Marine leadership, navy families, Ushuaian citizens and the wardroom of ARA Guerrico (P-32).
Farragut's visit to Ushuaia served to further enhance the crew's interactions and relationships with the Argentinian Navy.
During POA '08, Farragut was able to participate in multinational exercises with several Argentinean ships, including ARA Almirante Brown (D-10), ARA Gomez Roca (P-46), and ARA Patagonia (B-1). POA '08 is an ongoing, annual partnership engagement sponsored by U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), designed to enhance multinational interoperability and stability in the SOUTHCOM area of focus. Farragut's visit to Ushuaia proved to be another great opportunity to increase such interoperability in support of the Navy's Maritime Strategy, as well as executing critical TSC events which strengthened relationships with the people of Argentina.
For more news from USS Farragut, visit www.navy.mil/local/ddg99/.