El Salvador: High Speed Vessel Swift Off-Loads Food, Supplies

High Speed Vessel Swift Off-loads Food, Supplies

High Speed Vessel (HSV 2) Swift off-loaded Project Handclasp supplies here as part of HSV-Southern Partnership Station 2012 (HSV-SPS 12) Dec. 14.

Project Handclasp is a U.S. Navy program that accepts and transports educational, humanitarian and goodwill material donated by America’s private sector on a space-available basis aboard U.S. Navy ships for distribution to foreign nation recipients.

Swift delivered 28 pallets of Project Handclasp materials containing 85,000 non-perishable meals and various medical supplies.

Kids Against Hunger, whose mission is to feed starving children throughout the world, provided the off-loaded meals. The meals were received by Dr. Jose Rodriguez, a Lifeline Christian Mission administrator, who will deliver the meals over the holiday season.

“A lot of families in El Salvador will not have food for Christmas,” said Rodriguez. “Because of the help we are receiving from the United States and Kids Against Hunger, it is possible to provide for them during the holidays this year.”

The ship delivered 20 pallets of medical supplies to Ixar Campos, El Salvador’s interior secretary. The pallets of medical supplies contained medicine, breathing apparatus, and personal hygiene products.

My favorite part is knowing we can make a difference,” said Campos, “that one person or a few people can make a difference.”

The delivery of pallets to Central American countries is one of several missions during HSV-SPS 12. Service members from each of the armed services are working with the host nation partners, participating in subject matter expert exchanges (SMEE) regarding medical and veterinary practices, small unit leadership, port security and construction.

“Through the partnerships we build in efforts like Project Handclasp, our mission continues to effect lives after our ship leaves,” said Cmdr. Garry Wright, HSV-SPS 12 mission commander. “It is through strong partnerships that everyone wins.”

Southern Partnership Station is an annual deployment of U.S. ships to the U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) 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.

Naval Today Staff, December 21, 2011; Image: navy