USNS Swift Deploys to Southern Partnership Station 2013 Mission

USNS Swift Deploys to Southern Partnership Station 2013 Mission

High Speed Vessel USNS Swift (HSV-2) departed Mayport to begin Southern Partnership Station 2013 (HSV-SPS 13), Feb 14 in the U.S. 4th Fleet area of operations to conduct subject matter expert (SME) exchanges and partner building from Feb 15-May 26.

Supporting the U.S. Maritime Strategy, HSV-SPS 13 will focus on enhancing cooperative partnerships with regional maritime services and improving operational readiness for all participating services.

In addition, HSV-SPS 13 will provide the opportunity for U.S. and partner nation forces to operate in the multinational environment, refine coordination and improve interoperability, and demonstrate flexibility.

 “Southern Partnership Station is a critically important mission in our area of interest and will greatly enhance our partner nations in the Western Hemisphere,” Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. Fourth Fleet, Rear Adm. Sinclair M. Harris said. “The multi-service team and civilian mariners embarked on the High Speed Vessel Swift will do a fantastic job.”

Swift will embark a command element and military personnel from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, as well as civilian contract mariners (CONMARS) working for a private company under charter to the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command.

“All hands onboard are fully aware of their roles and will represent our nation very well,” Harris said.

Assigned units will focus on locally identified needs, such as port security, non-commissioned officer professional development, operational risk management, medical readiness, outboard motor maintenance, and patrol craft operation, among others.

 “It is exciting to begin this historic mission,” HSVSPS 13 mission commander Cmdr. Bob Poling said. “Swift is a unique platform that allows us to make lasting bonds with our partner nations in Latin America. What we do on this deployment will make a difference and it will have a lasting impact on our partnerships in the region.”

Swift is currently scheduled to visit Belize, Guatemala and Honduras to conduct subject matter experts (SME) available to host-nation maritime services. During these visits, the HSV-SPS 13 command element will conduct engagements designed to strengthen cooperative partnerships.

 “The High Speed Vessel Swift mission is not only pushing the envelope on what we can do with this ship but will have a great impact on how the Joint High Speed Vessel and Littoral Combat Ship will be employed in the future,” Harris said. “Our shipmates on Swift are well focused on executing this mission flawlessly.”

The ship is scheduled to return to Mayport at the completion of the scheduled mission on May 24, 2013.

Naval Today Staff, February 15, 2013; Image: US Navy