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Boone, Thach Depart Puerto Montt, Chile

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS110606-14

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW) Steve Smith, Southern Seas 2011 Public Affairs

PUERTO MONTT, Chile (NNS) -- Guided-missile frigates USS Boone (FFG 28) and USS Thach (FFG 43) departed Puerto Montt, Chile, after spending four days participating in events with the Chilean navy, June 3.

The ships' visit focused on building relationships between the navies of the U.S. and Chile through ship tours, sports and personal interaction events.

The arrival began with a tour of Boone for 15 Chilean navy junior officers through the primary spaces of the ship. At each location, the officers were given a detailed presentation of equipment functions and standard Navy operations during a deployment.

"It is important to have the Chilean officers aboard and show them how we operate, because it creates an understanding of the differences and similarities in our navies," said Ensign James Conti, USS Boone communications officer. "We can then use that understanding as a foundation to build a working relationship with Chilean partners."

Boone Sailors also had the opportunity to visit several Chilean naval bases and tour the Chilean navy ship CNS Ortiz (PSG 72). Junior officers and enlisted talked about career progression in their respective navies and lifestyles on deployment.

"It's cool to see other navies and their ships," said Lt j.g. Jamie McQuiniff. "It's our job to understand ships and how they operate. There's a lot to be learned from other professional mariners, especially through experiences like our recent Strait of Magellan transit."

Boone and Thach Sailors also played a series of soccer games with the Chilean sailors aboard the Puerto Montt Naval Base.

During the next five weeks, Boone and Thach will work with the Chilean navy in a series of small exercises leading up to multinational exercises in the Pacific (PAC) phase of UNITAS 52, hosted by the Chilean navy. The exercises are designed to increase interoperability, build trust and cooperation between the navies, and promote security and stability in the region.

"The Chileans have been great hosts and stewards of partnership," said Cmdr. Roy Love, USS Boone commanding officer. "Every opportunity we have to interact with other navies, ships and crews makes everyone involved a better mariner."

U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet (COMUSNAVSO/C4F) support U.S. Southern Command joint and combined full-spectrum military operations by providing principally sea-based, forward presence to ensure freedom of maneuver in the maritime domain, to foster and sustain cooperative relationships with international partners and to fully exploit the sea as maneuver space in order to enhance regional security and promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions.

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