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Swift and Southern Partnership Station Returns to Barbados

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS090310-04
Release Date: 3/10/2009 12:40:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Daniel Ball, Southern Partnership Station Public Affairs

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (NNS) -- High speed vessel Swift (HSV 2) returned to Barbados March 9 to begin a 10-day training mission and complete the Barbados portion of Southern Partnership Station (SPS).

Southern Partnership Station is an annual deployment of various specialty platforms to the U.S. Southern Command area of focus in the Caribbean and Latin America. The mission goal is primarily information sharing with navies, coast guards, and civilian services throughout the region. SPS is comprised of Navy training and support teams, Marine Corps training teams, foreign naval officers and civilian contract mariners on a Military Sealift Command platform.

SPS's return was marked by an opening ceremony aboard Swift. Afterwards, instructors set out to various classrooms located on Swift and in local military facilities to begin instruction.

"We came out to teach them how to drive the boats and because of the training from our last visit here they were ready for the next course," said small boat instructor Boatswain's Mate 1st Class Albert Perret, from Franklin, La. "This time around, we are teaching waterborne security which focuses on formations and patrol geared toward how to protect their home port and ships. They were very motivated about the class and eager to learn. I think they will take away a lot from this course."

Training teams from Navy Expeditionary Training Command, Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Marine Corps Training and Advisory Group began their courses today with 127 students from the Royal Barbados Defense Forces and member nations of the Regional Security System (which includes Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines). The courses provide instruction in waterborne security, port security, leadership, instructor training, generator maintenance, search and rescue planning, combat patrol and urban raid tactics.

The final SPS visit to Barbados comes on the heels of an eight-day training evolution in the Dominican Republic. While there SPS instructors trained 80 students in a variety of topics including small boat operations, Marine Corps martial arts and port security.

The return to Barbados is the ninth stop for SPS. Afterwards SPS is scheduled to visit Colombia, Nicaragua and Jamaica.

The mission is coordinated through U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. Fourth Fleet (NAVSO/ 4th Fleet) with partner nations to meet their specific training requests. As the Naval Component Command of SOUTHCOM, NAVSO's mission is to direct U.S. Naval Forces operating in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions and interact with partner nation navies within the maritime environment. Various operations include counter-illicit trafficking, Theater Security Cooperation, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief, military-to-military interaction and bilateral and multinational training.

Fourth Fleet is the numbered fleet assigned to NAVSO, exercising operational control of assigned forces in the SOUTHCOM area of focus.

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