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USS Klakring Conducts Military-to-Military COMREL Project in Fortaleza, Brazil

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS100428-19
4/28/2010

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Darryl Wood, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command Public Affairs

FORTALEZA, Brazil (NNS) -- Sailors from USS Klakring (FFG 42) and Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light 42, Det. 10 had the opportunity to work side-by-side with the Brazilian Navy, performing maintenance at a nearby school while in Fortaleza, Brazil on April 22.

Twenty-five crewmembers of the guided-missile frigate volunteered to assist in a joint Brazilian/United States Navy-led community relations (COMREL) project. This allowed Sailors from both the United States and Brazilian navies to come together and provide assistance to the community.

The COMREL project in Fortaleza was located at Escuela Helenita Mota, a small school with an enrollment of about 400 students. Using volunteers from both countries, the project focused on painting and grounds maintenance.

"This COMREL is excellent in terms of integrating both forces and allowing us to work together as partners." said Lt.j.g. Alejandro Reginald of the Brazilian Navy. "A cooperative project like this builds great confidence. It is not just military-to-military working together, but this also impacts the students and the professors that teach at the school. Seeing us come together like this is inspiring."

"The COMREL was a team effort. The yard work required everyone to help out and we finished because we took turns," said Yeoman 3rd Class Emmanuel Rivera of Klakring. "I also feel it was important for the children at the school to see us doing the work we did, because it allows them to see us [U.S. military] for who we are."

From start to finish, both navies helped each other by giving a hand where needed. Groups were assigned individual tasks but as each task was completed that group would join in and help out on another project. No one stopped until all jobs were complete.

Task Group 40.0 is on a six-month deployment to South America and the Caribbean as part of Southern Seas 2010. Southern Seas is an annual U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM)-directed operation implemented by U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command (NAVSO) and executed by Commander, Destroyer Squadron 40 as Commander, Task Group 40.0.

Southern Seas focuses on conducting a variety of exercises and multinational exchanges to enhance interoperability, increase regional stability, and build and maintain regional relationships with our partner nations.

NAVSO is the naval component command for SOUTHCOM and is responsible for all Naval personnel and assets in the area of responsibility. NAVSO conducts a variety of missions in support of the Maritime Strategy, including Theater Security Cooperation, relationship building, humanitarian assistance and disaster response, community relations, and counter-illicit trafficking operations.



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