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Colombian Sub Visits Mayport, Supports Maritime Security

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS071114-16
Release Date: 11/14/2007 4:49:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Holly Boynton, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command Public Affairs

MAYPORT, Fla. (NNS) -- U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command (NAVSO) sponsored a port visit to Mayport for Colombian Armada submarine A.R.C. Tayrona (S-29) Oct. 29 through Nov. 11 to further extend its focus on partner nation interaction.

Tayrona made the port visit during a break in training with various U.S. Navy units along the East Coast. The submarine is participating in joint exercises with several U.S. Navy units, including the Nassau Expeditionary Strike Group.

"Tayrona's participation with the U.S. Navy is a great example of how we're promoting strong partnerships in this region," said NAVSO Commander Rear Adm. James W. Stevenson Jr. "Having the submarine in Mayport extends our opportunity to engage with a close regional partner."

The submarine's exercise role stems from their involvement with the diesel electric submarine initiative (DESI). The DESI program coordinates training between the U.S. and foreign navies, focusing on anti-submarine warfare. ESI is a U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFF) program with Commander, Submarine Force (CSF) acting the program Executive Agent. Diesel electric submarines' ability to run virtually silent presents a detection challenge to ships and aircraft. These subs are only used by foreign navies, so the U.S. depends on countries such as Colombia to conduct these training exercises.

NAVSO coordinates the interactions between U.S. Navy forces and Latin American military and civil maritime forces through various exercises and events within U.S. Southern Command's area of focus. For DESI participants, including Tayrona, NAVSO sponsors port visits to Naval Station Mayport, providing the crew an opportunity to rest and to use various training facilities.

"During the time in port, the crew can use the facilities here at Mayport, as well as at Kings Bay, to include the simulators for the submarine as well as the fire-fighting, damage control, and flooding facilities they have here to train the crew," explained Colombian Capt. Hernan Ospina, a foreign liaison officer assigned to NAVSO. "This gives the crew access to very important training that increases their proficiency in operating a submarine."

Tayrona's port visit and participation in the training exercises gave the Colombian Sailors the chance to interact with U.S. Sailors at sea and on shore at Naval Station Mayport.

"The interaction between the two navies is important because we are both battling against the illegal flow of drugs, and the operation of the submarine is a good way to prove the communications and connectivity between the two navies," said Colombian Capt. Carlos Polania, Tayrona's commanding officer.

After their visit to Mayport, Tayrona's crew returned to sea to continue anti-submarine warfare training with the Nassau Expeditionary Strike Group.

For more information on U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command, go to http://www.cusns.navy.mil.

For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/cusns/.

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