CAPSCALLAO, Peru (NNS) -- Senior enlisted leaders from the Peruvian navy visited the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18) July 28 as part of Amphibious-Southern Partnership Station (A-SPS) 2010.
Visitors included the Peruvian equivalent of the master chief petty officer of the Navy and the pacific force master chief.
Enlisted leadership aboard New Orleans said the visit fostered an understanding between the two navies.
"This visit was an outstanding way to kick off our port visit to Peru," said New Orleans Command Master Chief (SW) Jeff Kozlik. "They really seemed to enjoy their time aboard, and I know that many new friendships were made."
Led by Kozlik and several New Orleans bilingual Sailors serving as translators, the visiting Peruvian Sailors were shown various areas aboard the ship and often stopped along the route to photograph equipment and spaces in which the Sailors were working.
The visiting master chief petty officers additionally visited New Orleans' chief's mess, socializing and exchanging gifts with New Orleans chief petty officers.
"The senior enlisted from both sides had a fantastic time joking with each other and learning about each others' navies," said Kozlik. "It was a privilege and honor for myself and other members of the 'Big Easy' chief's mess to be able to show off our ship and crew, in addition to enjoying a relaxed meal with so many of Peru's outstanding leaders."
New Orleans, along with Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 5, Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force 24 and other embarked units are currently operating in support of A-SPS 2010.
A-SPS is a component of Southern Partnership Station (SPS), a deployment of various specialty platforms to the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The SPS mission's primary goal is information sharing with navies, coast guards and civilian services throughout the region. SPS provides the opportunity for joint operations between partner nations, which develops and tests participating regional civil and maritime services' capabilities to respond to a wide variety of maritime missions, while keeping vital lines of communication open between regional services.
New Orleans, with PHIBRON 5 and other embarked units, are scheduled to visit Bahia Malaga, Colombia, and Balboa, Panama, during the remainder of their three-month deployment.
For more news from USS New Orleans (LPD 18), visit www.navy.mil/local/lpd18/.