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Marine reserves kickoff exercise in Peru

US Marine Corps News

7/7/2010
By Master Sgt Peter Walz, Marine Forces Reserve

ANCON, Peru -- The parade deck was an elaborate mixture of both ceremonial dress and battle dress uniforms. Desert tans and woodland green camouflage patterns were each as unique as the culture and country they came from: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and the United States. Although their backgrounds, culture and uniforms are different they all have one thing in common—they are Marines.

More than 1,000 Marines and Navy Sailors, combined from the US Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force 24 (SPMAGTF 24) and nine partner nations, converged on the parade deck of the Peruvian Marine Corps base to kickoff the multinational combined exercises Partnership of the Americas (POA-10) and Southern Exchange 2010 (SE-10).

Rear Adm. Luis Ramos, Commandant of the Peruvian Marines, made the opening remarks.

“It’s a real privilege to receive such a select group from all countries,” said Ramos. “This exercise offers all a big chance to perform joint operations and to strengthen the bonds among the participating nations.”

Following the address by Ramos, the Peruvian exhibition drill team made an impressive entrance in their finest ceremonial uniform. They performed a remarkable routine, showcasing crisp marching and precision rifle movements that would have even impressed the U.S. Marines’ Silent Drill Team.

Ramos, along with Vice Adm. Jorge De La Puente, Peru’s Naval Chief of Staff, and Rear Adm. Wladimiro Giovannini, Peru’s Pacific Operations Command Chief of Staff, greeted all senior officers from each participating nation’s forces before the ceremony concluded.

Immediately following the ceremony, the US Marines and partner nations split up into training platoons with the purpose of fostering cross-training and sharing knowledge over the next three weeks.

Although the platoons are an eclectic mix of uniforms and cultures whose members can be heard speaking English, Spanish and Portuguese, they are all working with one common goal--enhancing proficiency and interoperability between the U.S. Marine Corps and partner nation forces.

SPMAGTF-24 Com­manding Officer, Col. Gary S. Johnston said, “This in an exercise that incorporates the Marine Corps’ from nine different countries to conduct multilateral exercises to make sure that we are prepared to conduct support operations in this region”.

Training will specifically focus on peacekeeping, disaster relief and humanitarian assistance to include: marksmanship, patrolling, convoy operations, water survival, amphibious training, checkpoint operations, civil affairs, human rights training and military operations in urban terrain.

More than 300 Marines from both the U.S. and Peru have already boarded the USS New Orleans--the US Navy’s landing-docking transport ship, and the greater portion of the combined forces nations have moved to the field to begin training.

The combined exercises, POA-10 and SE-10, will run simultaneously from July 2-24 in Salinas and Ancon, Peru.



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