Partnership of the Americas Arrives in Puerto Belgrano

Story Number: NNS070502-22Release Date: 5/2/2007 4:20:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Damien Horvath, Commander Destroyer Squadron 40 Public Affairs

PUERTO BELGRANO, Argentina (NNS) -- Task Group 40.0, deployed for Partnership of the Americas (POA) 2007, arrived in Puerto Belgrano, Argentina, May 2 for a port visit.

The purpose of the port visit is to support U.S. Southern Command engagement in the region by conducting a variety of events at sea and ashore including community relations and participation in exercise UNITAS 48-07 Atlantic phase.

UNITAS, which has been executed for 48 years, is intended to strengthen working relations with partner nations during various maritime scenarios. Participating countries play important roles in the exercises, and significantly contribute to improving interoperability between partner nations.

"UNITAS develops and sustains relationships that improve the U.S. Navy's and partner navies capacity to operate together in support of the chief of naval operations goal of a 1,000-ship global maritime force," said Capt. Randy Snyder, commander, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 40. "This annual exercise fosters friendly, mutual cooperation and understanding between participating navies."

During the Atlantic phase of UNITAS, host nation Argentina plus Brazil, Chile, Spain and the United States will have ships participating in the exercise.

In addition to participating in UNITAS, Sailors from Task Group 40.0 will also be painting the interior of the Eva Peron Hospital in Punta Alta and providing donated Project Handclasp items to the people in the Puerto Belagrano area.

"Project Handclasp provides us a unique opportunity to assist people who need help," said DESRON 40 Project Handclasp and community relations liaison, Chief Cryptologic Technician (SW/AW) Robert Woodin. "We fully expect this portion of Project Handclasp to be just as successful and meaningful as previous donations."

Partnership of the Americas 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.

The task group consists of dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52), guided-missile destroyer USS Mitscher (DDG 57), guided-missile frigate USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58) and Chilean frigate CS Almirante Latorre (FFG 14).

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USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Victor Cooper, and fellow Pearl Harbor officers pay homage to a memorial dedicated to the Argentinean ship ARA General Belgrano.
070502-N-4021H-082 PUERTO BELGRANO, Argentina (May 2, 2007) - USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Victor Cooper, and fellow Pearl Harbor officers pay homage to a memorial dedicated to the Argentinean ship ARA General Belgrano during a 25th anniversary remembrance service. The ARA General Belgrano sank along with 323 members of her crew. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Damien Horvath
May 3, 2007
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