CALLAO, Peru (NNS) -- High Speed Vessel (HSV 2) Swift arrived in Callao, Peru to continue HSV-Southern Partnership Station 2012 (HSV-SPS-12), Jan. 19.
Swift is scheduled to be in Peru for three weeks to work with Peruvian partner-nation peers in a series of subject matter expert exchanges.
All branches of U.S. military service are represented on Swift. Specialists from the U.S. Navy Seabees, U.S. Marines, medical and veterinary fields, Naval Criminal Investigatory Services, Embarked Security Team, and Maritime Civil Affairs Team are aboard Swift for this mission.
"The variety of skills that the SPS team possesses is amazing," said Cmdr. Garry Wright, HSV-SPS 12 mission commander. "Their capabilities allow us to make lasting bonds with our host- nation partners in a variety of fields. Each interaction over the next three weeks will help us to learn more about our professions and to make our partnership with the Peruvians stronger."
A Seabee and Marine detachment from Swift is scheduled to complete renovations on three different project sites. The three-week construction project will include three different schools. At each project site, Seabees will be rebuilding a school after demolition, building roofs, painting, fencing, doing minor plumbing and electrical maintenance, and building a new amphitheatre.
"I like my job," said Equipment Operator 2nd Class Tyrif Wells, a Seabee from the Navy Mobile Construction Battalion 23 detachment. "This gives me as a reservist, a good opportunity to apply my job skills and feel like I'm doing something worthwhile, not only for my country, but others as well."
Marines from Swift are scheduled to participate in a small-unit leadership course with Peruvian Marines. The course will last three weeks and will include ethics, marksmanship, first aid and field tactics. The SPS mission will coincide with another U.S and Peruvian Marine partnership, which will focus on close quarters battle and mechanical and dynamic breaching demonstrations.
"I am excited to go to Peru," said Staff Sgt. Mario Vargas, assigned to the HSV-SPS 12 Marine detachment. "I have been working as a project manager with the Seabees on the past three projects. Instead, in Peru, I'll have an opportunity to be with the Marine detachment and get to see a new aspect of the mission. Any day I get to work with Marines is a good day."
Forty pallets of Project Handclasp materials consisting of 244 personal energy transport carts and mixed pallets of soccer gear and clothing for adults and children are scheduled to be offloaded in Peru to be donated to hospitals, schools, and local organizations all over the country.
"The coordination and cooperation with the host nation really makes Project Handclasp a success," said Wright. "This mission has really demonstrated to me the difference we can make by working with our partners."
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 area of responsibility in the Caribbean and Latin America. The mission's primary goal is information sharing with navies coast guards and civilians in the region.
U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet (COMUSNAVSO/C4F) supports U.S. Southern Command 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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