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Continuing Promise 2008 Delivers Project Handclasp Donations to Peru

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS080614-02
Release Date: 6/14/2008 9:02:00 AM

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Matthew Jackson, USS Boxer Public Affairs

PROVINCE OF JUARA, Peru (NNS) -- Continuing Promise (CP) 2008 mission leaders, embarked aboard USS Boxer (LHD 4), delivered several pallets of donated goods to Peruvian officials on behalf of Project Handclasp, June 11.

CP is a humanitarian civic assistance (HCA) mission teaming American and Peruvian health care service providers and relief capabilities to demonstrate the cooperative partnerships among allies.

Project Handclasp is a Navy program established in 1962 to collect and distribute donated humanitarian, educational and goodwill materials using empty cargo space on Navy ships.

"These supplies, which we turn over to you today, are not being given to you by us, or Boxer, but rather from Project Handclasp based in the United States," said CP 2008 Mission Commander, Capt. Peter Dallman.

The U.S. Navy's Project Handclasp and participating commands are working together to innovatively discover new solutions to meet human needs globally.

"The donations provided by Project Handclasp continue to better and fortify our partnership with the United States," said Huacho Mayor, Pedro Julio Zurita Paz. "Together we're showing how important it is to better human development and human relations,"

Boxer serves as an enabling platform through which military and non-governmental organizations can coordinate and carry out humanitarian efforts. The same flexibility and configuration that makes Boxer an effective warship also makes it an extraordinarily effective ship for performing HCA missions.

"Campaigns like Continuing Promise and Project Handclasp are developing the new face of humanitarianism that Latin America and Peru need," Paz added. "Your contributions play a role in the development in the life of our city."

Paz extended the gratitude with a warm welcome to CP mission leaders on behalf of Peruvians throughout the region.

"I want to extend our most cordial welcome to the integrated groups of the Navy, the ministry of defense of Peru, the Navy of Peru and authorities from our health sector," he said.

In addition to several pallets filled with thousands of dollars worth of donated items, Project Handclasp donated a sonogram machine, estimated to be worth approximately $30,000, to a remote medical treatment facility in Peru prior to Boxer's arrival.

Sonogram machines are in high-demand even in very industrialized nations, and like all Project Handclasp items it was obtained, shipped and will be provided to overseas partner communities at no expense to the U.S. government.

"We hope that you see these gifts as a bridge between our two countries and as a symbol of goodwill and mutual respect," Dallman added.

Additional items donated from Project Handclasp via Boxer and CP include food, toys, clothing, medicine and other medical equipment.

Boxer'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.

Embarked units and organizations aboard Boxer for CP include Amphibious Squadron 5, Fleet Surgical Team 5, U.S. Public Health Service, Project Handclasp, Navy Seabee Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 303, Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 14, Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 764, Tactical Air Control Squadron 11, Special Marine Air Ground Task Force 24, Helicopter Sea Combat Support Squadron 23, Assault Craft Unit 1, Fleet Survey Team, Maritime Civil Affairs Team 205 and Beach Master Unit 1.

For more news from USS Boxer, visit www.navy.mil/local/lhd4/.

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