ABOARD USS KEARSARGE, At sea (NNS) -- USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) entered the U.S. 4th Fleet area of focus Aug. 8 for a humanitarian/civic assistance (HCA) deployment in support of the Caribbean Phase of Continuing Promise (CP) 2008.
CP is a collaborative effort between the United States and partner militaries, non-governmental organizations (NGO) and partner-nation support organizations to build strong partnerships that can be called upon in the event of a regional situation requiring cooperative solutions.
"We are dedicated to working with partners in Central and South America and the Caribbean through exercises, military exchanges and humanitarian assistance efforts," said Kearsarge Commanding Officer, Capt. Walter Towns.
Kearsarge's mission is to conduct joint civil-military operations including humanitarian and civic assistance, as well as veterinary, medical, dental and civil engineering support to six partner nations and to send a strong message of United States support and commitment to Central and South America and the Caribbean.
The ship is scheduled to visit Nicaragua, Colombia, Panama, Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana.
CP's mission in Central and South America is part of the Partnership of the Americas initiative. The medical and engineering capability this mission brings helps demonstrate the United States' commitment to fostering cooperative partnerships among allies.
The mission of U.S. 4th Fleet is to direct U.S. naval forces operating in the Caribbean, and Central and South American regions and interact with partner nation navies to shape maritime environment.
While in 4th Fleet, Kearsarge and her embarked units will work together with Latin American partners to provide construction capabilities ashore, basic primary health care for adults and children, dentistry, veterinarian care and minor road and bridge repair.
Kearsarge's mission exemplifies the U.S. maritime strategy which emphasizes deploying forces to build confidence and trust among nations through collective maritime security efforts that focus on common threats and mutual interests.
The CP Caribbean Phase is the second of two HCA deployments to the Southern Command area of focus for 2008. The first CP deployment was conducted by USS Boxer (LHD 4) in the Pacific.
For more news from USS Kearsarge, visit www.navy.mil/local/lhd3.