USS Underwood Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Trinidad and Tobago’s Independence

USS Underwood Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Trinidad and Tobago's Independence

The Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate USS Underwood (FFG 36) pulled into Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, Sept. 7, just in time to help celebrate the country’s 50th anniversary of independence.

The port call provided an opportunity for Underwood and the U.S. Embassy to host a reception aboard the ship to honor the milestone anniversary.

“Our countries enjoy a strong relationship through both commercial ties and military partnerships,” said Cmdr. Peter Mirisola, commanding officer of Underwood. “This bilateral relationship enhances political and social stability and both nations’ goal of stemming transnational crime, health promotion and international law.”

Co-hosting the reception and representing the U.S. Embassy was U.S. Charg d’Affaires to Trinidad and Tobago, David C. Wolfe.

“We are here to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Trinidad and Tobago’s independence day and to mark more than 200 years of commercial, personal and military ties between our two nations,” said Wolfe.

“This ship and crew are working with nations throughout the Caribbean to combat narcotics trafficking and build ties so that we can work together to address other common problems such as trafficking in persons and responding to natural disasters,” Wolfe added.

Officers from the Brazilian Naval Ship BNS Greenhalgh (F-46), also visiting Trinidad and Tobago, were invited to join in the festivities.

Underwood and Greenhalgh will be sailing from Port of Spain en route to Key West, Fla., to participate in the multi-national UNITAS exercise later this weekend. Coincidentally, Sept. 7 is also the anniversary of Brazil’s independence.

Underwood is deployed to Central and South America and the Caribbean in support of U.S. 4th Fleet’s mission, Southern Seas 2012.

U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/Commander, U.S. 4th Fleet support 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, September 11, 2012; Image: US Navy