USS Underwood’s Crew Attends Wreath-Laying Ceremony at Peruvian Naval Academy
Sailors and officers from Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate USS Underwood (FFG 36) attended a wreath-laying ceremony at the Peruvian naval academy in Callao, Peru, May 15.
The annual memorial ceremony was held in honor of Peruvian naval hero Adm. Miguel Grau, who was killed during a naval engagement in the 19th century.
Nearly two dozen crew members from Underwood joined with members of the Chilean, Colombian, Ecuadorian, Mexican and Peruvian navies to present wreaths at the monument erected over Grau’s crypt.
“It was an honor for us to attend the ceremony and I think it’s important for us to show respect for our partner nation’s legacy,” said Command Master Chief Michael Bates.
As a wreath was brought forward on a display stand, Capt. Ace Van Wagoner, commander of Destroyer Squadron 40, the U.S. mission commander of UNITAS Pacific (PAC), Cmdr. Peter Mirisola, Underwood’s commanding officer; and Cmdr. Michael Brasseur, Underwood’s executive officer rendered hand salutes while an honor guard detachment of six Peruvian sailors piped their boatswain’s mate pipes.
“We were not the only navy to show up and I think it’s important that all of the navies that are participating in UNITAS Pacific showed up in a display of mutual respect for each other,” said Bates.
Underwood is representing the U.S. Navy in support of UNITAS Pacific 53-12 as part of Southern Seas 2012.
U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet (COMUSNAVSO/C4F) supports USSOUTHCOM 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 , May 18, 2012; Image: US Navy