High Speed Vessel Swift 2 Visits Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to Load Operation Handclasp Supplies


High Speed Vessel Swift (HSV) 2 arrived at Naval Station (NS) Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to receive supplies in support of Operation Handclasp, Feb. 14.

NS Guantanamo Bay served as the consolidation point for receiving, storing, and staging more than 160 pallets of donated humanitarian aid products and materials. Before being loaded on the Swift, the goods were prepared for manifest and customs declarations for entry into foreign countries where the cargo will be delivered.

This operation takes a year of preparation to logistically support these donations,” said NS Guantanamo Bay Transportation Officer Candace Keller. “Receiving, storing and coordinating movement to a hub such as GTMO requires a plan involving organizations and American citizens coming together with the U.S. Navy.”

Operation Handclasp is a joint Department of Defense (DoD) and private sector humanitarian mission to receive, collect, consolidate and store humanitarian, educational and goodwill material for transport by naval vessels. The humanitarian goods are distributed by U.S. Navy and Marine Corps personnel to foreign nation recipients.

“I have been working with this program since 2002 to support the Caribbean deliveries to the southern countries needing humanitarian support,” said Keller. “It’s about what America represents as a people loving, caring nation that works together with our military, civilians and government contractors to bring aid and assistance to less fortunate people.”

The humanitarian materials will be distributed to the still recovering nation of Haiti later this month.

Naval Today Staff , February 15, 2012