Military

High Speed Vessel Swift Kicks off Southern Partnership Station in Belize

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS130221-04
2/21/2013

By Air Force Master Sgt. Chris Stagner, Southern Partnership Station public affairs

BIG CREEK, Belize (NNS) -- Sailors disembarked High Speed Vessel Swift 2 here, Feb. 18, to begin Southern Partnership Station 2013, a U.S. 4th Fleet deployment designed to strengthen civil and maritime capabilities with regional partner nations in the Caribbean.

The team was comprised primarily of Seabees from Riverine Squadron (RIVRON) 2 and Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit (CBMU) 202.

Each team will spend time working with host-nation partners to stregthen relationships and joint interoperability.

CBMU 202 Seabees will build a multipurpose open bay structure, known as a seahut, and provide the materials for up to two additional buildings. RIVRON 2 Seabees will share their expertise with the Belize Defense Force and help them improve their skills in areas such as interdiction and inserts and extracts of security teams on the water.

The two units have separate missions but share a common purpose; to maintain a strong relationship with the Belize Defense Force and share ideas, experience and technology.

'We'll be working with the Belize Defense Force Special Boat Unit,' said Riverine Squadron 2 Detachment 2 officer in charge, Navy Lt. Joe Turner. 'We will train with them and share ideas and best practices. This enables us to work together better as a unit to fight criminal activities on the waterways and in the rivers.'

The mission for the Seabees deployed to Big Creek differs only in the areas of execution.

'We're doing a military-to-military cooperation with our counterparts in the Belize Defense Force,' said CBMU 202 officer in charge, Chief Builder Nicholas Whitbeck. 'We'll observe, exchange ideas and learn from them and vice versa. We'll also work hand-in-hand with them to improve military infrastructure.'

'We are here not only to build a seahut with the Belize Defense Force, but also pass on our knowledge so they can accurately and efficiently build more in the future,' said Builder 2nd Class Nathaniel Devincentis, CBMU 202.

The Southern Partnership Station 2013 mission is an important one for the U.S. and partner nation militaries.

'This is an opportunity for us and our partner nations to come together, join efforts and enhance regional maritime security,' Cmdr. Bob Poling, Southern Partnership Station mission commander said. 'The Caribbean nations and the U.S. share common interests and multinational maritime partnership missions.'

'By participating in these regional civil and maritime exchanges, we foster friendly, mutual cooperation and understanding. Working together alongside our partner nations, sharing ideas and professional expertise, we will improve interoperability and enhance the regional maritime security,' he said.

'Our end goal is to give the Belize Defense Force what they need to succeed. If they learn it and implement it, then it's a good day for us,' said Chief Boatswain's Mate Jason Hatfield, RIVRON 2.

Swift and multinational crew is scheduled to remain in Belize working with the Belize Defense Force until early March.



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