PUNTA ARENAS, Chile (NNS) -- Frigates USS Boone (FFG 28) and USS Thach (FFG 43) arrived in Punta Arenas, Chile, May 20, as part of their six-month deployment in support of Southern Seas 2011.
While in Punta Arenas, Boone and Thach Sailors will attend several Glorias Navales events, a national navy celebration, to develop bonds and promote partnership with the Chilean navy.
Boone and Thach Sailors are attending Te Deum church services at Punta Arenas Cathedral, May 21. Following Mass, Chile will host a parade and wreath laying ceremony celebrating Glorias Navales at Plaza Arturo Prat.
"As mariners, it is a great honor to be included in Glorias Navales," said Cmdr. Roy Love, commanding officer of USS Boone. "Understanding heritage is an important part of building strong ties between nations."
The Sailors have also been invited to participate in the 'Month of the Sea Run' 5k and 10k races at Costanera del Estrecho, May 22.
Boone and Thach will host more than 30 Chilean navy junior officers, from bases in the area, for tours of each ship and to exchange ideas and information, May 23.
Punta Arenas is the first stop marking the beginning of a six-week period of U.S. and Chilean navy interaction.
"Our demonstrated commitment to our partners and to the region helps underwrite regional security and increases awareness of the goals we all share to include counter-piracy, keeping sea lanes of communication open, interdicting illicit trafficking and assuring world partners the seas are safe," said Cmdr. Jeff Scudder, commanding officer, USS Thach.
Following their visit to Punta Arenas, Boone and Thach will work with the Chilean navy in a series of small exercises leading up to a series of multinational exercises in the Pacific (PAC) phase of UNITAS 52, hosted by the Chilean navy. The exercises are designed to increase interoperability, build trust and cooperation between the navies, and promote security and stability in the region.
"Chile has many unique geographical features along its vast coastline and a rich naval history, both of which provide us the opportunity to learn, and promote partnership and cooperation," said Love.
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