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Global Fleet Station Completes First Phase of SME Exchanges

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070507-17
Release Date: 5/7/2007 3:17:00 PM

By Mass Communications Specialist 1st Class (SW) Cynthia Clark, CTG 40.9 Public Affairs

COLON, Panama (NNS) -- U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard training teams completed the first subject matter expert (SME) exchange portion of the pilot Global Fleet Station (GFS) on May 4, aboard High Speed Vessel (HSV 2) Swift in port.

The GFS pilot program is a proposal to use ships and riverine boats around the world to assist and promote goodwill with other nations' maritime services -- an enabler for the 1,000-ship Navy envisioned by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Mullen.

“The training that was completed here today marks just the beginning of our exchange of information and ideas with our Panamanian counterparts,” said Capt. Douglas Wied, Commander, Task Group 40.9. “We’re going to do the same thing next week, but with different students. We’re certainly looking forward to learning even more and enhancing our relationships with Panama.”

Training teams from Navy Expeditionary Combat Command and Expeditionary Training Command in Little Creek, Va., along with U.S. Coast Guard training teams from International Training Division, based in Yorktown, Va., completed two of the three facilitated training sessions requested by the nation of Panama. The first, a leadership seminar, similar to the indoctrination given to new U.S. Navy petty officers and the second, Port Security and Port Vulnerability, were marked with a joint ceremony.

“We thanked our partners for their participation and allowing us to share the training with them,” said CWO3 Tom Peal, training team leader. “We learned as much from them as they learned from us, it was a very good week of training and sharing of information.”

The third exchange topic, a coxswain course, which focuses on basic navigation and small-boat handling, is scheduled to end May 11.

Task Group 40.9 and HSV-2 Swift, are deployed as part of GFS to the Caribbean Basin in Central America. Embarked on board Swift are elements of the Navy Expeditionary Training Command, U.S. Coast Guard International Training Division and Department of State representatives participating in the information exchanges and training with the partner countries.

The pilot is designed to validate the GSF concept for the Navy and to support U.S. Southern Command objectives for its area of responsibility by enhancing cooperative partnerships with regional maritime services and improving operational readiness for the participating partner nations.

Global Fleet Station and HSV-2 Swift are scheduled to bring their teams to Belize, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua and Panama.

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