MAYPORT, Fla. (NNS) -- The Global Fleet Station (GFS) completed its pilot mission, Sept. 30, when High Speed Vessel (HSV) 2 Swift returned to Naval Station Mayport.
Since departing Naval Station Mayport April 25, GFS hosted more than 1,000 host nation military and civilian personnel during 12 visits to Belize, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua and Panama. In these countries, they conducted 39,890 hours of exchanging knowledge in such areas as leadership, small boat operations, port security and small unit tactics.
"The past six months have been very successful," said Capt. Douglas Wied, Commander, Task Group (TG) 40.9. "Through our subject matter exchanges we've learned just as much from our partner forces as they have from us. Terrorism, narco-trafficking and piracy don't care what nationality you are, these aren't problems we can solve alone, but together as a team, we can."
Aside from the subject matter exchanges and training, TG 40.9 also conducted 15 community relations projects in every country they visited as well as visiting schools and sharing their military experiences and messages of GFS with children in Guatemala, Honduras and Panama.
"It was wonderful visiting the children in all the different countries," said Storekeeper 3rd Class (SW) Lorella Person, TG 40.9 Supply Department. "Sharing our experiences and what's out there for them to achieve - knowing I had a positive influence on these children and may help what they grow up to be, is just fantastic."
During the last half of the deployment, TG 40.9 also delivered more than 20,000 pounds of medical and food supplies through Project Handclasp as well as hosting numerous dignitaries, including the Prime Minister of Jamaica and U.S. Ambassadors to Panama, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras and Jamaica.
"In conjunction with the training, it was also an incredible opportunity to share what we are doing with our partner's countries leadership," Wied continued. "Especially with programs such as Project Handclasp, it shows we're more than just training. We're people helping people."
TG 40.9, consisting of a command element, the crew of Swift, training teams from Navy Expeditionary Training Command and U.S. Coast Guard International Training Division, U.S. Marine Corps Mobile Training Team and Department of State representatives, was deployed as part of GFS to the Caribbean basin in Central America. It was under the operational control of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command. The mission was to conduct a broad range of theater security cooperation activities with regional maritime services.
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