USS Carr Arrives in Santa Marta, Colombia

USS Carr Arrives in Santa Marta, Colombia

The guided missile frigate USS Carr (FFG 52) arrived in Santa Marta, Colombia, for their first Caribbean port visit, June 28, during their deployment in support of Operation Martillo.

Carr visited Santa Marta following a month at sea conducting operations to counter transnational organized crime (CTOC) in the U.S. 4th Fleet (C4F) area of responsibility in support of Operation Martillo.

Carr Sailors took advantage of the opportunity to visit historic areas and experience the culture of Colombia’s oldest city.

“This was an excellent opportunity for Carr’s Sailors to experience Colombia’s rich culture. My group spent time walking around the city to see the historic buildings and many statues as well as enjoy the local food,” said Quartermaster 3rd Class David Blancoventura.

Visiting another country can be a rewarding and educational experience. Learning the cultural differences and history plays a major role for Sailors visiting other countries.

“Port visits aren’t just about taking some time off to unwind; they also provide an opportunity to learn more about other cultures and history. We used this as an opportunity to learn more about Simon Bolivar and United Fruit’s role in the development of Colombia,” said Cmdr. Patrick Kulakowski, Carr commanding officer.

Carr is homeported in Norfolk, Va., and is currently deployed in support of Operation Martillo, under operational control to U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and C4F (COMUSNAVSO/C4F) while conducting CTOC operations in support of Joint Interagency Task Force – South, U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM), and U.S. Coast Guard District Seven.

Operation Martillo (Spanish for ‘hammer’) is a U.S., European, and Western Hemisphere partner nation effort targeting illicit trafficking routes in coastal waters along the Central American isthmus. U.S. military participation is being led by Joint Interagency Task Force-South, a component of USSOUTHCOM. Operation Martillo is a component of the U.S. government’s coordinated interagency regional security strategy in support of the White House strategy to combat transnational organized crime and the U.S. Central America Regional Security Initiative.

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, July 4, 2012; Image: U.S. Navy