Southern Partnership Station Brings Classes to Barbados

Story Number: NNS090113-02Release Date: 1/13/2009 6:11:00 AM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Daniel Ball

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (NNS) -- High speed vessel Swift (HSV 2) arrived in Bridgetown, Barbados Jan. 12 for the first of two instruction evolutions during Southern Partnership Station (SPS).

SPS is an annual deployment of various specialty platforms to the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) area of focus in the Caribbean and Latin America. The mission goal is primarily information sharing with navies, coast guards, and civilian services throughout the region.

Training teams from Navy Expeditionary Training Command, Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Marine Corps Training and Advisory Group began teaching their courses today to 96 Royal Barbados Defense Force (RBDF) members. The courses provide instruction in a variety of topics such as armed sentry, port security, basic and intermediate small boat operations, small boat repair and rifle and pistol marksmanship.

Training began today in classrooms set up on Swift and at RBDF facilities.

"Right now I'm teaching 20 students from Barbados, Dominica and St. Vincent" said armed sentry instructor Gunner's Mate 2nd Class Suheily Hernandez Quiles from Bronx, New York. "The first few days we'll do presentations. Then we do labs on the pier teaching baton strikes, weapons retention, and other things. I think they're really grasping the training and they seemed very interested."

Barbados is the fourth stop for SPS. After Barbados, SPS is scheduled to visit Colombia, Panama, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, and Jamaica.

The mission is coordinated through U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet (NAVSO/ 4th Fleet) with partner nations to meet their specific training requests. As the Naval Component Command of SOUTHCOM, NAVSO's mission is to direct U.S. Naval Forces operating in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions and interact with partner nation navies within the maritime environment. Various operations include counter-illicit trafficking, theater security cooperation, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, military-to-military interaction and bilateral and multinational training.

Fourth Fleet is the numbered fleet assigned to NAVSO, exercising operational control of assigned forces in the SOUTHCOM area of focus.

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