BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (NNS) -- Partnership of the Americas (POA) Task Group 40.0 arrived in Buenos Aires on April 26, giving an opportunity to all of the ships' crews to participate in different events ashore as part of the POA 2007 deployment.
During the visit, the task group hosted a myriad of events, such as a presentation of Project Handclasp donations to include an ambulance from the Fire Department in Wilmette, Ill.
The ambulance outfitted with emergency medical equipment will be donated to the Association of Volunteer Firefighters of Parejas in Santa Fe, Argentina.
Additionally high nutrition meals that can be stored and used for disaster relief operations will be presented to the Red Cross of Argentina.
The Stella Maris Organization -- which is equivalent to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society -- will be receiving medical supplies, sewing machines, and toys for use in the caring of partner nation sailors and their families in Argentina.
"This is a great opportunity to demonstrate how proficient we are as United States ambassadors. For some people this is their first time in Argentina and these experiences will build on in their careers," said USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) Commanding Officer Cmdr. Victor Cooper.
Other events scheduled during the port visit included a press conference with U.S. Ambassador to Argentina Earl Wayne and Capt. Randy Snyder, commander Destroyer Squadron 40 and task group commander; a reception aboard Pearl Harbor; and also guided tours of Pearl Harbor and USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58).
"I am excited [about] doing some sightseeing in Buenos Aires and meeting new people," said Ship's Serviceman 3rd Class (SW) Edmund Rampola. "This is my first time in Argentina, and it's going to be a great experience."
After the completion of the port visit Task Group 40.0 Sailors and Marines will begin working with the Argentina Navy, conducting anti-surface/air-training exercises, electronic warfare training, formation steaming and other evolutions.
"We are looking forward to working with the Argentinean Navy during UNITAS in May," said Cooper. "Training with the Argentinean Navy will be a great opportunity to increase military engagement and friendship which bring the forces together as a whole."
The POA Task Group 40.0 consists of dock landing ship Pearl Harbor, guided-missile destroyer USS Mitscher (DDG 57), guided-missile frigate Samuel B. Roberts and Chilean frigate CS Almirante Latorre (FFG 14), under the tactical command of Snyder.
The purpose of the port visit was to support U.S. Southern Command's engagement strategy by conducting a variety of events ashore that enhance hemispheric stability, security and regional prosperity.
POA 2007 is a deployment focused on enhancing cooperative partnerships with regional maritime services throughout South America and the Caribbean through a variety of exercises and events at sea and on shore.
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