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HSV-SPS 12 Marines Conduct SMEEs with Haitian National Police

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS120302-07

By Lt. Matthew Comer, High Speed Vessel-Southern Partnership Station 2012 Public Affairs

CAP-HAITIEN, Haiti (NNS) -- U.S. Marines from High Speed Vessel (HSV) 2 Swift partnered with United Nations Police (UNPOL) to train the Haitian National Police (HNP) in Cap-Haitien, Haiti, March 1.

Nine Marines from Swift are working for two weeks to conduct subject matter expert exchanges (SMEEs) with the HNP and an UNPOL team of five from France, Spain, Serbia and Egypt, who are part of the U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti.

"This is our first opportunity to work with a police force," said 2nd Lt. Lucas Helms, HSV-Southern Partnership Station 2012 (HSV-SPS 12) Marine detachment officer in charge. "I strongly feel that the relationships we've built and the exchanges we've provided will have a positive and long-lasting impact on the Haitian National Police."

The partnership was hosted by the U.N. Chilean battalion base in Cap-Haitien. The evolution, which began Feb. 20, is scheduled to conclude March 3. The SMEE was broken into two weeklong sessions allowing 38 HNP from the northern regions of Haiti to participate.

"Our goal is to elevate the Haitians to a level where they are self-reliant," said Egyptian Maj. Tarek Zoghla, director adjoint U.N Police Training Academy, Port-au-Prince. "We are teaching a variety of skills to prepare them to provide the proper service to the Haitian people."

The course covered crowd control, non-lethal weapons training, martial arts, leadership, pistol marksmanship, ethics and human rights. The instruction included classroom and practical exercises, which taught the HNP how to properly use riot gear and isolate members of a crowd. With each practical exercise, the students discussed the responsible use of force. The instruction culminates in a live-fire pistol exercise, which demonstrates the culmination of skills and responsibilities taught throughout the week.

"For the Marines here it has been a unique experience working with the HNP," said Staff Sgt. Mark Miller, attached to HSV-SPS 12 Marine detachment. "They have shown a great interest in expanding their knowledge, and their enthusiasm has set a professional standard."

The Haitian National Police partnership is one part of the three-week HSV-SPS 12 mission in Haiti. Service members from each of the armed services are working with the host-nation partners, exchanging information regarding medical and veterinary practices, small unit leadership, and port security.

Haiti is the last stop of the HSV-SPS 12 four-month mission, which visited the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama and Peru.

Southern Partnership Station is an annual deployment of U.S. ships to the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility in the Caribbean, Central and South America. The mission's primary goal is information sharing with partner nation service members and civilians in the region.

U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet (COMUSNAVSO/C4F) supports 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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